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Majority of Americans Oppose Biden Insistence on Black Woman for Supreme Court Justice: Survey

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Published: January 30, 2022
Most Americans do not like bringing race and gender considerations while deciding the Supreme Court Justice.
Most Americans do not like bringing race and gender considerations while deciding the Supreme Court Justice. (Image: MarkThomas via Pixabay)

President Joe Biden has several times stated that he wishes to appoint a black woman to the post of Supreme Court Justice. A recent poll by Rasmussen shows that a significant majority of American citizens are against such race-based appointments to the Supreme Court.

In the poll, which saw the participation of 1,000 likely U.S. voters, 61 percent of the respondents said that picking justices “on the basis of race and gender” is a bad idea. 26 percent think it is a good idea while 14 percent are unsure. While 47 percent of Democrats supported making gender and race a consideration for the Supreme Court post, just 16 percent of unaffiliated and 11 percent of Republican voters agreed to it. 66 percent of unaffiliated and 82 percent of Republican voters see it as a bad idea.

“59% of likely U.S. voters expect Biden to keep his promise by nominating a black woman to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer. Only 19% think Biden will break his campaign promise, while 21% are not sure,” Rasmussen stated. More than 50 percent of Republicans and Independents expect Biden to keep his promise, compared with 72 percent of Democrats.

Among voters who strongly approve of Biden’s performance as president, 66 percent agreed with racial and gender considerations for appointing a Supreme Court Justice. But among voters who strongly disapproved of how Biden has handled the country, 95 percent do not agree with it. The poll was conducted between Jan. 26 and 27. 

The poll comes as Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer officially announced his retirement by the end of the court term. In response, Biden promised that he will appoint a black female as Supreme Court Justice by the end of February. Vice President Kamala Harris will act in an advisory role in the selection process given her background as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and California’s attorney general.

“While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision but one… The person I nominate will be somebody with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue in my opinion,” Biden said.

Some have speculated that Harris could be appointed to the post of Supreme Court Justice. However, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pointed out that Biden intends to run the 2024 campaign together with Harris. A potential candidate for the post is said to be 51-year-old Ketanji Brown Jackson who has been a federal trial judge in the District of Columbia since 2013. During Jackson’s interview for the federal trial judge post, Biden had personally met her.

Several Democrat lawmakers support Biden’s desire to appoint a black woman as Supreme Court Justice. “It’s time for a Black woman on the Supreme Court,” Democrat Representative Ayanna Pressley said in a tweet. “You promised us a Black woman on the Supreme Court. Let’s see it happen,” said Representative Jamaal Bowman, another Democrat.

In a radio interview, Republican Senator Roger Wicker predicted that Biden’s Supreme Court pick will be a beneficiary of affirmative action, something he finds ironic given the controversy surrounding the issue.

“The irony is that the Supreme Court is at the very time hearing cases about this sort of affirmative racial discrimination while adding someone who is the beneficiary of this sort of quota… The majority of the court may be saying writ large that it’s unconstitutional. We’ll see how that irony works out,” Wicker said.