Though Biden is committed to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court in replacement of retired Justice Stephen Breyer, Black women still struggle to be nominated in majority of public office positions. No Black woman has been elected as governor, president, nor are there any Black women serving in the Senate since Kamala Harris was elected as Vice President, via USA Today.
Biden can make history if two Black justices and four women justices serve on the Supreme Court. USA Today reported Democrats and civic engagement leaders welcomed the idea of appointing a Black woman to the position. As 93 percent of Black women reportedly voted for Biden, they have also confronted political leaders for not investing in electing more Black women to office, per USA Today.
From USA Today:
“As a longtime advocate for Diversity and Inclusion at the highest levels of leadership in our nation, I am looking forward to the President’s appointment of a highly-qualified and experienced jurist to our nation’s highest court,” Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, said in a statement. “I will continue to push in my capacity as a Member of Congress and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus to ensure that the President upholds his promise to the American people and that the Senate confirms a Black woman to the Supreme Court without any unnecessary delay.”
“Black women uniquely know the history of the importance of the Supreme Court from Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade and a 2022 battle around voting rights and reproductive justice,” said Carr of Higher Heights.
Biden’s decision also appears strategic as he put appointed eight Black women to the appeals court which is often where judges ascend to Supreme Court.
In regards to public office, five Black women have announced their 2022 bids for governor including Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Sen. Mia McLeod of South Carolina reported USA Today.
USA Today also reported only one out of the 13 Black women who ran for Senate in 2021 were nominated. Marquita Bradshaw, who ran for the Tennessee’s Democratic candidate for Senate, lost to Bill Hagerty. However, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley is running for Richard Burr’s vacated Senate seat in North Carolina.
From USA Today:
“This is a big deal,” said Nadia Brown, a political scientist at Georgetown University, about Biden nominating more Black woman to the lower courts. “This is a playbook that we now acknowledge out of (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell. His real focus, while Trump was doing all the craziness, was staying focused on getting Republican nominees appointed to the court. And Biden is doing the same.”
“To say that all of this will happen because of the role model effects of Kamala Harris or the role model effects of whoever the Supreme Court Justice will be, I think, is kind of shortsighted,” Brown said. “This has been a ground movement and ground game for decades.”
A new ABC poll found 76 percent of Americans want Biden to consider “all possible nominees” for Supreme Court Justice while 23 percent support his vow to nominate a Black woman. ABC confirmed the size of the poll was not large enough to isolate the results for the Black community. However, per their sample, 28 percent of nonwhite Americans support Biden’s Black-women-exclusive nomination bid.
The poll reflects the main reason why Black women, even the most qualified, are not elected. That’s why, regardless of the president’s promises, Black women continue advocating for representation in public office on their own. The decisions facing our political leaders right now from voting rights to reproductive rights are critical to Black women. Maybe, just maybe, a Black woman should be in the room where those decisions happen.