Flashback: Biden was against black female SCOTUS justices before he was for them


The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the writer, a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

WASHINGTON, DC- Remember when Joe Biden said the Senate filibuster was a throwback to the Jim Crow era? How about when then-Senator Joe Biden used the filibuster against a black female judicial nominee put up by President George W. Bush?

Guess it’s all a matter of what the agenda is.

According to KPRC, Bush nominated Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court Janice Rogers Brown to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Rogers Brown was the first black female judge to be nominated for a seat on the federal bench.

Rogers Brown may have checked off two of the “boxes” that Biden is now apparently using to determine who to nominate for the soon-to-be-vacant Supreme Court Justice seat being vacated by retiring Associate Justice Stephen Breyer…she was a female and she was black.

Unfortunately for the judge, she was also a libertarian-conservative.

One decision Rogers Brown made involved a case where cigarette manufacturers were forced to put warning labels on packs and cartons of cigarettes. Rogers Brown dissented in the case, feeling it was government overreach.

She also spoke ill of Roosevelt’s New Deal, which gave the U.S. Social Security and other programs, which she described as “the triumph of our socialist revolution.”

Biden, however, was having none of Judge Rogers Brown back then.

Despite his constant bloviating nowadays about his being a “champion” of civil rights and who is obsessed with the gender and amount of melanin his nominees possess, Biden filibustered her nomination and voted twice against her.

In other words, when Biden himself was given the opportunity to “look beyond” race, he mailed it in.

None of this was lost on Laura Ingraham on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” where she contrasted the before and after of Biden’s position on black female judicial nominees now and then.

In 2005 when Rogers Brown was once again nominated for a seat on the federal bench, Biden again filibustered her nomination and voted against her. This time however, Rogers Brown was confirmed, despite Biden once again voting against her.

So obsessed with not confirming a black female judge was Biden that when Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement, Rogers Brown was on Bush’s short list of potential replacements.

However Biden, appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” warned that if Bush nominated Brown, he would once again filibuster the nomination. That was three filibusters for one female judicial nominee by Biden.

Moderator John Roberts queried Biden as to why Rogers Brown would be filibustered by Senate Democrats after she had just been approved, to which Biden replied that the high court is a “totally different ballgame” because “a circuit court judge is bound by stare decisis. They don’t get to make new law.”

That however was 2007 Joe Biden. The 2022 version of Joe Biden has had an epiphany, calling the Senate filibuster a “relic of the Jim Crow era.” However old Joe had no problem using the “relic” to keep a black woman off the highest court in the land.

In fact, according to Marc Thiessen, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Bush had a number of judges on his short list for the Supreme Court who maintained a legal philosophy opposite to Biden’s own. However the only one he promised to filibuster was Rogers Brown, the only black female on the list.

Biden also led the charge in opposing yet another minority for a judicial post. In 2001, Bush nominated Hispanic judge Miguel Estrada to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

Estrada was targeted upon a request by liberal interest groups, who believed Estrada to be “especially dangerous” because “he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment.”

Democrats were fearful the Republicans would be first to put up a Hispanic on the Supreme Court, and that couldn’t stand. Biden was also involved in opposing Estrada.

So, for all Biden’s bloviating about the “historic” opportunity to have a black woman appointed to the Supreme Court, it would have likely happened some 20 years earlier if not for Biden’s own obstruction.

Flashback: Biden was against black female SCOTUS justices before he was for them

WASHINGTON, DC — Whispers are that one of the potential nominees to replace U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer is a civil rights attorney who wants to get rid of qualified immunity for police and continue defunding them as well.

Sherrilyn Ifill is one woman who President Joe Biden is reportedly considering as Breyer’s replacement on the Supreme Court.

Ifill is the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), a civil rights law organization fighting for racial justice and equality, which is not connected to the NAACP despite the similarities in names.

The organization’s motto is “DEFEND EDUCATE EMPOWER.”

Previous lawyers who worked with LDF created the legal strategy that led to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, a transformative and monumental legal decision made in 1954 that legally ended decades of racial segregation in U.S. public schools.

Who is Ifill and what are her views?

According to Ifill’s biography on NAACP LDF’s website, she earned her J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in 1987.

Ifill then began her career as a Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union and later joined the staff of the LDF as an assistant counsel in 1988, where she litigated voting rights cases for five years.

In 1993, Ifill left LDF to join the faculty at University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, where she taught civil procedure and constitutional law for over 20 years.

She also “pioneered a series of law clinics, including one of the earliest law clinics in the country focused on challenging legal barriers to the reentry of ex-offenders.”

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

In 2007, Ifill wrote the book, “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century.”

In 2013, Ifill was invited back to LDF to lead the organization as its seventh director-counsel:

“In that role, Ifill has increased the visibility and engagement of the organization in litigating cutting edge and urgent civil rights issues and elevating the organization’s decades-long leadership fighting voter suppression, inequity in education, and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

“At critical moments during national political and civil rights crises Ifill’s voice and vision have powerfully influenced our national dialogue.

“Ifill is a frequent public commentator on racial justice issues, known for her fact-based, richly contextualized analysis of complex racial issues.

“She is a trusted and valued advisor to civic and community leaders, national civil rights colleagues, and business leaders.

“In 2020, Ifill was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year for her leadership of LDF, especially during a year that saw constant attacks on our democracy and nationwide protests against police violence in Black communities.

“Glamour called Ifill an ‘unrelenting champion with a stellar reputation among civil rights leaders.’ 

“Ifill was also named the 2020 Attorney of the Year by The American Lawyer, and was honored with a 2021 Spirit of Excellence Award by the American Bar Association.”

She has also written several academic articles for law journals as well as op-eds, including, “How to Change Policing in America,” which appeared in Slate on June 3, 2020.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

In this op-ed, Ifill outlined her views of “long-overdue measures that federal, state, and local leaders must implement” to address what she called a “crisis” of “violent, racist policing.” She wrote in part:

“Police officers are often described as law enforcement professionals. But professions have standards that govern member conduct, and membership can be revoked for standards violations.

“Currently, officers fired for misconduct and brutality against innocent civilians can be hired by other departments.

“We need to establish a national database of officers terminated for misconduct and a decertification system that makes them ineligible to work elsewhere as a police officer.”

Ifill complained about certain provisions in some police union contracts:

“Police union contracts often contain several provisions that shield officers from accountability for misconduct, such as those protecting officers from questioning for days after an incident—including a killing—and those limiting misconduct-related discipline.

“Many union contracts also protect officers who witness misconduct by fellow officers from any obligation to report or intervene, perpetuating the ‘blue wall of silence.’

“City leaders must expend the political capital necessary to renegotiate provisions that contribute to officer impunity for misconduct.”

Ifill also wrote that police funding needs to be “drastically” reduced:

“It is critical that our city’s mayors be prepared to change their approach to police department funding in a way that prioritizes community funding support and a reimagined conception of public safety.

“For example, movements to drastically reduce police funding are at the core of a revised vision of public safety that prioritizes social services, youth development, mental health, reentry support, and meaningful provisions for homeless individuals that strengthen community resources to proactively address underlying factors that can contribute to public safety concerns. 

“Most public safety issues and community conflicts do not require the intervention of an armed officer. It’s time to reimagine how we allocate our public safety dollars.”

Ifill criticized the Department of Justice and pushed for “an immediate review of all” of the agency’s grant funding to police departments: She wrote:

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids federal funding of state and local programs that engage in racial discrimination.

“Yet, despite providing over $2 billion in grant funding to police jurisdictions around the country, the Department of Justice has never fully enforced this provision.

“Minneapolis has received nearly $7 million in DOJ grants since 2009. There must be an immediate review of all DOJ grant funding to police departments to ensure compliance with Title VI.

“Federal funds should be withheld from departments that hire officers previously fired for misconduct or those with suspicious levels of in-custody deaths or assaults.

“The House and Senate Judiciary Committees have oversight power over the DOJ—and must hold it accountable.”

Ifill described qualified immunity as a “judge-made doctrine” that “must be urgently fixed by the courts” to limit its defense capability for police officers:

“Qualified immunity, a defense that shields officials from the unforeseeable consequences of their reasonable acts, has been interpreted by courts so expansively that it now provides near-impunity for police officers who engage in unconstitutional acts of violence.

“Civil rights legal groups, libertarian groups, and even some conservative judges oppose qualified immunity in its current form.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has several cert petitions pending before it right now requesting review of this judge-made doctrine—one that must be urgently fixed by the courts. But Congress can also act to limit this defense.”

Ifill ended her op-ed by suggesting that members of law enforcement are participants in “state-sanctioned killing.”

She wrote in part:

“Every police killing of an unarmed black man, woman, or child damages our country and wears away at our society’s fragile fabric.

“These killings are a tragedy for families and communities. But they are also a stain on our nation’s very soul.

“This time, it is critical that we place the onus on elected officials and policymakers to upend this system of state-sanctioned killing.”

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Submit a Correction
Related Posts