Biden Filibustered a Black Woman Judge’s Nomination for Two Years

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with private sector CEOs about the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden has pledged to nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court, but he seems to have forgotten about the time he filibustered a black woman judge’s nomination to America’s second-highest court for two years.

Way back in 2003 through 2005, when Joe Biden was still a Democrat senator from Delaware, President George W. Bush nominated Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but due to her conservative views, Joe Biden and the Democrats filibustered her nomination, blocking a final vote on her confirmation. Bush nominated Brown for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003 after she served as a justice on the California Supreme Court since 1996; she did not get confirmed until June 8, 2005. Newsweek provided more background on her conservative legal views:

Brown was born to Alabama sharecroppers and grew up in the segregated South. During her college years, Brown was a single mother with views so left-wing that she later said they were almost Maoist.

Her views grew decidedly more conservative over the years, and she has defended using electric stun guns on criminals who act inappropriately in courtrooms. Brown also wrote opinions that opposed affirmative action and supported a state law that required girls younger than 18 to notify their parents before getting an abortion.

Janice Rogers Brown was reportedly considered as the possible replacement for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, but that ultimately went to Samuel Alito. Beyond Joe Biden, her nomination to the circuit court was also opposed by then-Sen. Barack Obama, who said her political views bar her from being an independent jurist.

“Unfortunately, as has been stated repeatedly on this floor, in almost every legal decision that she has made and every political speech that she has given, Justice Brown has shown she is not simply a judge with very strong political views, she is a political activist who happens to be a judge,” Obama said in 2005.

Brown retired from her position on the circuit court in 2017.

Conservatives have since pointed out the hypocrisy of President Biden pledging to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court after working so hard to oppose Brown.

“He voted three times against confirming her just to be a U.S. circuit judge. I mean, this wasn’t even to the Supreme Court. So, race and gender, they only count if you’re thought to be a committed judicial activist, judicial leftist,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said last Wednesday.


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