This Black History Month, the timing of Biden’s announcement of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee is auspicious. Among other things, Biden is tasked with restoring the image of the SCOTUS, which has been damaged by the right-wing justices installed under Trump and former GOP Senate leader.
To start, Biden apologized for his handling of questioning Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Then he chose a respected district attorney, Kamala Harris, as VP, making her the highest-ranking African American female official in U.S. history. Now, Biden has vowed to keep his 2020 campaign promise and announce his nomination of the first African American woman to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Biden’s nominee is expected be announced before the end of Black History Month 2022.
Speaking of Clarence Thomas, SCOTUS is currently at its lowest approval rating in history. Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, a prominent right-wing activist who publicly cheered the January 6th insurrectionists, is not helping. Ginni Thomas is openly working to affect the outcomes of high-profile cases on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights. A code of conduct requires lower court justices to recuse themselves from cases with personal connections. The U.S. Supreme Court has no such code of conduct. Justices are accountable only to themselves, so Clarence Thomas’s actions go unchecked.
The most recent SCOTUS appointments came after the unpredictable deaths of Scalia and RBG, and the dubious early retirement of Anthony Kennedy. All were replaced by right-wing justices under Trump. Restoring the good image of SCOTUS will only happen one opportunity at a time, starting with the first African American woman justice. Whoever Biden nominates, it will be a highly-qualified woman of color who will also have the backing of moderate senators. We must be ready for every new opportunity. That is why we MUST keep the House and Senate in the 2022 Midterms.
Chicago native Lorraine Evanoff earned her degree in French from DePaul University then became a Certified Financial Manager. She worked as a finance exec in film production for seven years in Paris, then in Silicon Valley during the dot-com era, and later for various Hollywood production companies, notably as CFO of National Lampoon. She is currently living in Los Angeles with her husband.