Gowdy: The real meaning behind Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black female to the Supreme Court

“Sunday Night in America” host Trey Gowdy urged President Biden to cast identity politics aside when nominating a candidate to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, underscoring on his show over the weekend that “there is a difference between picking someone who is supremely qualified and happens to Black, and picking someone because she is Black.”

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TREY GOWDY: Now Joe Biden has promised to make the next Supreme Court Justice a Black female. Americans – including a majority of Democrats – believe Biden should consider all nominees. So why not look for the most qualified candidates, period, Mr. President. I’m fully convinced some of the names on that list would be Black women. I can think of several right now. One would be Michelle Childs from South Carolina. She can compete no matter the pool of applicants. The people who know her, and worked with her, and appeared before her are universal in their praise for her character, intelligence, work ethic and demeanor. She was elected to a state court judgeship in South Carolina, a state not known for quotas or affirmative action. She was elected out of all the candidates because she was the most qualified, not because she was a Black woman. She was elected by a Republican-dominated legislature, another entity not known for its embrace of quotas, affirmative action, or set-asides. 

She was later confirmed, by voice vote, by the U.S. Senate for a federal judgeship. Not a single Senator opposed her. Among those supporting her included former Senator Jim DeMint who some consider to be the grandfather of the Tea Party movement. I don’t think it was quotas or a belief in affirmative action that motivated Senator DeMint to support Judge Michelle Childs. She was nominated and confirmed because she was supremely qualified. And this has been borne out by her time on the federal bench. There’s a difference between picking someone who is supremely qualified and happens to Black, and picking someone because she is Black.

All Biden had to do was say he was going to find the most qualified person for the job, period. That list would have undoubtedly included Black women, and he could have picked one of those Black women. But he didn’t do that. He wanted to make a political point. He wanted to help himself, and in the process, he sent the wrong message. Black women do not need to compete merely among themselves for one to prevail. They can, and should, and do prevail no matter the competition. I’ve seen it countless times. You should look for it yourself.

Joe Biden now claims he wants a Court that looks like America, despite the fact that he whiffed when he could have done that in the past. In the process, he has refused to do the one thing that looks the very most like America – picking the most qualified person. I have every confidence that would have been a Black woman. I wish you did too, Mr. President.

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