President Joe Biden has been confronted by so many different issues during the beginning of his presidency. As if Covid was not enough of a battle, he has had to battle Republicans who seem determined to see him fail, even if that negatively impacts the American people. One area in which he was seemingly having success was the nomination and appointment of federal judges. That had been going well until now. Republicans are, once again, blocking President Biden from doing his job and honoring his commitments to the American people. As New York Times reported, Republicans are beginning to balk at his nominees and are slowing down the process.
According to NYT, President Biden nominated Andre Mathis to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Tennessee. If confirmed, Mathis would be the first Black man ever on the Sixth Circuit court. In fact, the Alliance of Justice revealed that Mathis would be the first Black appointed to any court in the Sixth Circuit in 24 years and only the second Black judge from Tennessee. We knew some of the southern states were a bit behind the times, but this is ridiculous. President Biden’s selection of Andre Mathis shows how badly he wants to make things right in this country, yet Republicans want to maintain their status quo.
Unlike most of “president” Trump’s nominees, Biden chooses highly qualified members of the bar who have demonstrated their fitness to sit on the bench. Mathis is a partner with Butler Snow, a national litigation firm with offices across the country and is a successful litigator. Mathis is more than qualified to be a federal judge. Unfortunately, Tennessee is represented by two of the worst: Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, who complained that President Biden did not “substantively consult” with them. NYT reported that the Biden administration did, in fact, meet with the Senators, but they wanted a different candidate. Their complaints are merely sour grapes because President Biden chose who he considers the better candidate. If they truly want to work with President Biden, they will approve Mathis’s nomination.
President Biden knows what he is doing regarding judicial picks, as he is a former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has extensive experience in the process, and he would never send unqualified nominees to the floor unlike his predecessor. While he focuses on qualified candidates, President Biden also looks to diversity. NYT reported that of his 64 picks, 47 are women and 41 are people of color. He seems to have perfected the formula of making diverse choices while not compromising on the abilities and experience of his nominees. Biden has been very strategic in his nominations as well, choosing to put forth nominees in Democratic led areas first and saving the fights for the Republican-led states, and fights they will be. It remains to be seen whether Republicans are interested in participating and putting through President Biden’s nominees or whether they prefer to whine and complain and ultimately hold up President Biden’s choices.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years