I don't see a whole lot of difference between Reagan's groundbreaking nomination of a woman to the Supreme Court, after he made the commitment to do so, and Joe Biden's groundbreaking potential nomination of a black female jurist to the Supreme Court after he made a similar commitment.

It's fair to note, IMO, that black jurists, especially female black jurists, are often overlooked entirely in the nomination process. Which is what makes spotlighting them stand out.

Given that more than half our population is female, and we're fast becoming a majority minority country, it shouldn't be cause for pearl clutching when a president looks at the high court and sees a lack of diversity, both racial and ideological. Despite the performative temper tantrums on the right.

Finally, I don't recall hearing alarmist charges of 'identity politics' when nearly all of Donald Trump's nominees to the federal bench, including SCOTUS, were white. Maybe, just maybe, it's possible that President Biden is looking for highly qualified judicial nominees who happen to be black. That's not a bad a thing. And like VP Harris, it would be another history-making choice. These women have earned the right to consideration.

That makes me proud. As an American. And as a woman.

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I SO look forward to the day when we don't have announcements about the "first black woman" or "first openly gay man" or "first trans woman" or "first Native American" in a position, because that will mean it's just normal. But we are not remotely there yet. So until then, let's celebrate the expanding diversity that truly makes our country exceptional.

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Apparently it’s easy to overlook that President Biden had doubtless reviewed the qualifications of any number of possible candidates including various white males well before his inauguration and the decades of disqualifying these very well qualified people such as these women solely on the bases of race & gender are being ignored. Preclude black women? Eh, things happen. Fail to prioritize white males? Oh, the horror!

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ALL politics is identity politics. Voting patterns are largely predicated by and can be predicted by identity. This is NOT as simple as race or gender and encompasses a number of things--most of which are not actually physical.

The identity politics of the dominant group is often "invisible" because of the groups dominance. Their identity politics is often portrayed or perceived (particularly by members of the group) as simply politics. It is only when that dominance begins to erode that identity politics becomes fractious--because in order to have friction, the other groups must have sufficient visibility and power for that friction to actually be visible and substantive.

The key factor is what part of the identity that the media actually gives the most play to and what spin they put on it.

The GoP will scream about identity politics--because, of course, conservative Catholic isn't an identity... right? Yet that seems to be what they are picking for some reason. Hmmmmmm.

The reality is that the fact that 2/3rds of the Justices are Catholic is actually a problem... and it isn't an accident.

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Jan 27, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022

I am waiting for the column that correctly assails nominating religious Christians to the Supreme Court to make the US more Christian as identity politics.

Look, if you wanna complain that Biden's nomination was superficial identity politics, go ahead and do it.* But you are implying that Joe Biden somehow couldn't find a single qualified black woman, or that only black women will be appointed by Joe Biden going forward, and other things not grounded in reality.

Trump appointed a guy who had a temper tantrum in his last hearing, shouted "I like beer" and "you'll all pay," so somehow, I think we'll be okay with Biden's nominee.

Also, if you just want a white Protestant pro-life Supreme Court justice, just say so!

* = as of this writing there's no formal nomination yet, so you know ... maybe don't jump the gun

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So, I dunno. I'm white, and a guy. Gotta say, I don't feel 'excluded' by Biden's campaign promise. The whole 'content of their character' quote fragment seems to be misapplied in this case.

And even if you think Biden should have been more discrete about his intentions--well, this is Biden. We voted for him. If there's one thing he's (unintentionally) talented at, it's stating the bald truth when political BS would be more prudent.

Nor do I feel the public will really disapprove all that much. It's just a reasonable thing to do, at this point in history. I've said my piece.

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Hmmm, this nominee should be a relatively easy one for Biden for a couple reasons:

1) It's a defensive one. It doesn't change the partisan balance of the court. It's simply 6-3.

2) Pretty much all Biden's picks are mainstream choices. I'm a little confused here as to what Charlie thinks will be particularly controversial about the nominee that isn't fabricated. She isn't going to be a communist, you're not gonna find photos of her burning down a Minneapolis police precinct. Deep breaths everybody.

3) Manchin is the only one likely to oppose, if he does. Manchin can say that he is pro-life, but Sinema cannot. Sinema can only give so many middle fingers to her voters without real consequences, especially if Kelly says he'll vote for her. She simply doesn't gain anything from opposing her, except maybe publicity. For Sinema, that's enough.

4) The Republicans are favored to take the Senate. You know what might change that? If they hold up Biden's SCOTUS pick somehow and make the Democratic base really angry and motivated to turn out.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson seems like the obvious pick. She's not out of the liberal mainstream. She was Breyer's clerk. She's been approved by the Senate easily twice already. Nevertheless, a significant amount of Republicans will scream that appointing her will destroy the Republic. That's just what they do these days. My guess is she gets approved with less than 60 votes.

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I'm old enough to remember a few weeks ago when the line was BBB was too big or the voting right's bills were too big and the smart play would be for Schumer to put up a bunch of votes he knows will fail in order to put Senators on the record and use it against them.

Schumer did that with the voting rights bill and now it's a bad idea because people are mad at Sinema and Manchin for voting against it?

So Dems are damned if they do follow suggestions from The Bulwark and damned if they don't.

If you're going to rail at Democrats for following your advice then, to me, it seems like maybe that advice wasn't offered in good faith.

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'Biden to pick a human for SCOTUS' Oh, but what about all those progressive aardvarks waiting in the wings??? C'mon, Charlie. For 180 years the only people who could even sit in the same courtroom as the Justices were White Males and now you're going Identity Politics on this? Not the hill I would die on, frankly. Just when progress is being made, pull the rug out from under the people managing to get to the top. Not surprising the whole Republican party was AGHAST that Obama picked a female Latino and then OH MY GAWD, another WOMAN and then crickets (IP wise) when he picked Garland. Clean up on aisle seven, please. But I still love ya.

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I'm not going to touch the matter of Democrats needing to do something different, unless you actually say what you want them to do. What I suspect you'd articulate would make them into Jeb Bush. While we agree they need to do something different, if you're going to make that critique you need to advance actual policies you think they should talk about. Otherwise, you're not doing anything other than complaining.

Instead, we'll talk about the whole 'nominating a black woman' thing. Good that you tried to diffuse the critique, but I think you're missing the plot on this one. The president can nominate anyone they want. More than that, is it not a good thing to have a myriad of voices on the court? A bunch of different viewpoints? As it stands, there are all white people, save one black justice in Thomas. Rather than focus on ideological purity, it should be on the soundness of their legal rulings.

But to focus so much on the color of their skin in this case means you're parroting Carlson here. There's nothing wrong with him setting out what he wants before he does it. I think you're very much ignoring the fact that people of different backgrounds have different viewpoints, and that's a good thing.

I should also point out that all the talk of 'why not an asian person?' and similar questions always end up back at 'well, why not white people then?' As the court seems poised to tear down affirmative action, it might be worth remembering why it was created to begin with.

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Wait, so we're actually criticizing Biden for trying to nominate a black woman to the Court because it's "putting racial/gender identity ahead of philosophy and credentials?" Charlie, you're a smart guy, and you know that appointments to the Supreme Court are political by their nature - if for no other reason that the process is political (and getting more so with every year). Race, gender, and religion have always been very important in various nominations - whether it was Sandra Day O'Connor, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or Amy Coney Barrett being nominated.

A President typically has a lot of potential nominees that meet their criterion of aligned legal philosophies and credentials. There's always more that goes into it, and having representation on the Court that reflects differing viewpoints due to differing life experiences is important, in my view.

Moreover, there appear to be some assumptions that Biden cannot somehow balance race and gender with philosophy and credentials. And indeed, you at the end admit that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson may very well be that person.

This is a tempest in a teapot. I really thought The Bulwark was above such things.

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Jan 27, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022

"Complains about vulgarity and naked pictures."

This neo-medieval book burning is not simply about a so-called swear word nor a naked bottom. There is a deep and seething undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the Grand [sic] Old Party. With permission [either overtly or via ubiquitous dog whistles] of Trump, Maga, Fox, and the GQP Volk, this spume of hate has gushed forth. Never take the word of Maga that it is not about Jews.

It is.

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So, if Biden had NOT said he’d nominate a black woman, I assume NR and Sullivan would be fine with if it if he actually did? Or would Sullivan simply impute those words regardless?

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No one applies to be a justice on the Supreme Court Charlie and even if you're a serious student of the law and the Constitution that does not ensure you are in the running to become a nominee, whatever your gender, religion or ethnic origin.

I invite everyone to listen to Breyer's remarks today at the White House, and what he found most thrilling about being a judge on the high court. And Biden's criteria for choosing the first black woman to be his nominee—what is there, really, to quibble about?

We don't have the luxury of having a more perfect union when we can only achieve every right thing for every right reason. This ideal makes the good the enemy of the perfect. Taking umbrage at Sullivan's remarks and those of others with harsher assessments (including yours) may not mean they or you are wrong, but it also does not mean all of you are mostly right either in our ongoing and fraught experiment in democracy.

Excellence, as Breyer exemplifies and Biden echoed, is a better goal for our nation than criticisms others can make against Biden wanting to name the first black woman to sit on the court. The first black woman on the Supreme Court? Why, that’s an excellent thing to do and to accomplish. It grows my own pride and love for my country as a retired White man as well as, I’m certain, many millions of other Americans unlike me. Biden’s choice, whatever the reasons for it, advances our democracy and our common good immeasurably.

Case closed.

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"Under these limits, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg — or rather the next generation RBG— would be ineligible for consideration because of the color of her skin."

The implications of that aside are that there's no possible way the next generation liberal lion of the Court could be anything other than exactly the same ethnicity as the original one. Which is kinda racist? I don't think that's how it was intended, but by taking it from purely a discussion of the original RBG (which was a valid point) and moving it into the future (even though, since what we care about is the actions a person takes, anyone could be the next RBG) you're saying that the only way someone could uphold her ideals is to also be a Jewish woman. Again, don't think that's what you're going for, but it's one of the places you ended up.

Either way, Jim Clyburn told Biden to make that pledge in order to secure South Carolina during the primary. And I'm inclined to trust his assessment of his home state. No pledge--->no SC win--->no President Biden. I also think once there's a nominee, as long as they're qualified and there wasn't too much time between now and when they're selected, the only people who will still be focused on the pledge will be people who were going to search out a cudgel to use anyway. With a qualified nominee at hand, you can easily redirect to discussion of their qualifications, provided a previous narrative hasn't settled.

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So only appointing justices from the federalist society list is not a prerequisite for the last 2 or 3 justices. Trump did the same based on ideology not race. So using your argument no liberals, no moderates, only right wing radicals who are comited to the culture wars and God not law. Time to stop the only input in life experiences is only white elites.

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