• Anthony J. Mungin

The Modern Era of Black Supreme Court Nominee Hacks

Updated: Feb 21

The real Reason why Exceedingly “Qualified” Black Judges Keep Coming Up Short

Joe Biden is being applauded for making good on one of his campaign promises, nominating a “qualified” black woman to the US Supreme Court. But in its normally predictable pattern, public scrutiny is already whirling from the GOP, Fox News, and numerous other right-wing hate mongers.

Explicitly, they are calling Biden’s pick divisive and racist. Mind you, they rarely talk racialized politics unless it suits their political agendas. But will attack anyone as being 'incompetent' and ‘racially biased’ with respect to giving African Americans a single inch.

According to the naysayers, nominees should not be chosen because of race but because they are qualified. Well, if that is the only standard, indeed we should scrap the entire US Supreme Court, made up mostly of unqualified white males. As for credentials, it goes without saying, we’d expect no less of any nominee. So why did this perquisite need to be accentuated, exemplified, highlighted, loudly broadcasted simply because Biden’s nominee is likely to be black? I haven’t heard this particular criterion given so much weight when a nominee is white.

While these undeserved spats may sound quite familiar, none of them actually hold water except to the racist-minded themselves. Conservatives know better than most about African Americans’ tendency to exceed qualifications. They had no choice, having had to always be twice as good as their counterparts. Blacks have proven to be not just "better than whites" in many aspects but equal across others. Despite infringements upon their basic human rights as equal citizens. These squabbles amount to baseless assertions often made by those who reject diversity and egalitarianism.

Indeed, there are things I wish Biden would say in response to these worthless debates. He has not effectively used his platform to denounce such racist ideologies. Nor has he emphatically disavowed the absurdity that white justices alone should have a monopoly on life-altering decisions about black people's lives. Neither has he condemned the fact that The US Supreme Court in its general makeup, fails to represent the red, white, blue--and Black--of America.

Such oppositions from conservatives show the ignorance of those so quick with their premature outrage over what amounts to an anticipatory pick. Undoubtedly, Michelle Childs’ qualification speaks for itself.

But while Judge J. Michelle Childs is deemed the frontrunner, there are several other equally-qualified judges on Biden’s short list: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Judge Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger to name a few.

Black America is already bracing itself for a difficult confirmation process. There are already signs the left is gearing up for a showdown. Prepared to fight tooth and nail, with every fiber within their being. Hellbent on viciously taking whoever is nominated to task. Never mind the fact that these well-qualified US Supreme Court contenders have already gone through a vigorous vetting process before the same senate, albeit, for a lower federal court position.

These premature rushes to judgement are laughable. But also funny is how conservatives insist upon classifying America as a place bustling with equality and without the mere appearance of double standards. Even if, on every hand and with every opportunity blacks are discriminately put through the ringer. Forced to endure racial biases and attacks from a bunch of wet blankets. An obvious truth to the revelation that while "America looks different today. For blacks? Not quite!”

Today, there are nine supreme court justices: seven white, one Hispanic and one black (if you dare call him that). Seventy-eight percent (78%) of the supreme court is made up of whites which means only 11 percent (one lone justice) is made up of blacks. Meanwhile, the current Black population in the US is 46.9 million, 14.2%. Summarily, throughout decades and centuries, blacks have been grossly underrepresented in the highest court in the land.

Such statistical evidence proves the nation has not embraced a "racism-free" America but one where whites truly enjoy their status as elite upper-class fundamentalists protected by a culture that yet refuses to allow blacks into positions of power.

As we look to the future with no sign of progress on voting rights, no movement on police reform, and meager representation in the halls of justice, the situation remains status quo. For much too long, Republican leaders--including Mitch McConnel--have not sought accommodations within their larger political structure in effort to obstruct racial discrimination and inequities in the appointment of blacks to positions of judicial power.

I shudder to think of the lives of young Black American girls and boys whose lifelong hopes and dreams is to one day be seated on the highest court in the land; ambitions crushed under the weight of such false narratives and pretenses, under such disingenuous blockades.

The grave danger of not appointing highly qualified blacks to the US Supreme Court, an institution that historically has been white-dominated, is abundantly clear. Just look at how uncontested voter suppression schemes has diluted the power of voters of color all across the country.

It is time to accept diversity and inclusion at all levels so that minority appointments do indeed serve minorities well.

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