Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may need to brush up on his Supreme Court history. The New York senator was trying to defend President Joe Biden and his promise to nominate a black woman to the High Court. But he completely fumbled the ball in declaring the historical timeline.
President Biden has faced significant criticism for narrowing his nominees to only include black women. Chuck Schumer called that pledge from Biden to make the nomination based only on race and sex “historic.” But he also had his dates all mixed up about when the Supreme Court stopped being filled by “all white men.”
Schumer made a point to reveal that only a small number of the 115 justices in the High Court since 1789 have been non-white or women.
Schumer proudly declared, “Only five of them have ever been women, none until 1981. Only two have been African-American, but never, never has there been African-American women who still make up barely 6% of the federal judiciary.”
But, then, things went awry when he said falsely that until 1981 the Supreme Court was all white men. He went further, getting people to think about the fact that America was not all white men in 1981. Then he said, “or ever.” Schumer said that because of the president we are taking “historic steps” to make the court look like the country.
Now, for sure, Schumer is aware of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He was the first African American man to serve on the High Court. He was followed by the current Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. What Schumer got terribly wrong was the fact that Justice Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court way back in 1967, 14 years before the date Schumer stated as the mark when the court became something other than “all white men.”
It was in 1981 that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed as the first woman to take her place on the court.
Another problem with Schumer’s remarks about Biden’s team taking “historic” steps to make the court look more like the country the justices serve is the hypocrisy of it all.
Senate Democrats have a history of blocking or attempting to block Republican nominees who were not white.
If you dig up some history, you will come across what came to be known as “Memogate” in 2003. Democrats, along with the mainstream media, put a spotlight on how a GOP staffer found out that Democrats on the Judiciary Committee had not secured their server from their GOP colleagues. The young Republican staffer turned over documents to Republican groups.
The media just focused on the “ethics” of how the information was obtained. They did not focus on the content of the memos. They revealed that Democrats openly said they did not want to back Judge Miguel Estrada on the D.C. Circuit Court because of his race. They did not want Republicans to get the credit for nominating the first Latino man to the Supreme Court.
In one of the memos that were sent from a staffer to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), it said that liberal groups “identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment.”
Later, a spokesperson for Senator Durbin said that the memo was not a sign of racism against Estrada, it was just that he was “politically dangerous.” He went on to describe that Estrada could be seen as a viable candidate for the GOP to nominate to the High Court.
What? Durbin basically admitted to keeping him off the court because of his race!
So, Schumer might want to backtrack on his praise of the Biden team. And he should study up on the High Court history while he’s at it.