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Biden's historic Supreme Court pick will be a come-from-behind win for the president

  Things were in dire straits when he took over, and although they saw how well he performed when he was last tested, analysts were rightf...

 


Things were in dire straits when he took over, and although they saw how well he performed when he was last tested, analysts were rightfully skeptical because of where things sat just two years ago. But Joe B., who was raised in a blue-collar town and cared deeply about channeling the hopes and dreams of the people with whom he grew up, had the chance to make history and continue to defy the odds.

 

Yet, the Joe B. from coal country with a chance to change the trajectory of the year and defy the naysayers, in this case, is not Joe Burrow from Athens, Ohio, whose Cincinnati Bengals upset the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday to earn their first Super Bowl berth since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Instead, it is Joe Biden from Scranton, who can secure a big win and cement his legacy when he nominates the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

 

Black women are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. They are one of the main reasons Joe Biden is president. First, they secured him the nomination with a big win in the South Carolina primary. Then, in the general election, 90% of Black women voted for Biden, and their turnout in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Milwaukee and in urban and suburban areas across the country helped drive up the score in key swing states and won the electoral college for him.

 

Joe Biden also knows how important African-Americans have been to the development and history of this country and has made increasing their visibility in the halls of power a hallmark of his administration. Look no further than his selections of the first African-Americans to serve as vice president, secretary of defense, EPA administrator, OMB director, and chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and his work to double the number of Black women in the federal judiciary.

 

The president has seen his approval among Black voters drop 19 points since last spring.

 

Although it should not have taken our nation 232 years to put a Black woman jurist on the highest court in the land, the president’s commitment to fulfilling a historic campaign promise will impact the federal judiciary for decades to come. Even Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, said recently that we need a Supreme Court that "looks like America."

 

There certainly are pitfalls for Republicans heading into this nomination fight. Women are already closely watching the court’s potential dangerous right turn on women’s reproductive rights. Potential Biden nominee Judge Michelle Childs of South Carolina appears to have bipartisan support in the Senate, and another favorite, Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson of the D.C. circuit, was supported in the past by former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a member of her extended family. Republicans will have to walk a very fine line not to let their rhetoric and expected criticism of the nomination galvanize women voters in the leadup to the midterms, especially if the nomination has bipartisan support.

 

During his 1980 campaign, Ronald Reagan made an unprecedented promise to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court. It would be a great signal to the American people if this year Senate Republicans supported this historic nomination the same way Democrats did in 1981 when they confirmed Sandra Day O’Connor to the court 99-0.

 

 

With the worst of COVID-19 increasingly appearing to be in the rearview mirror and inflation and supply chain issues continuing to impact his poll numbers, Joe Biden is a bit of an underdog heading into the midterm elections. In recent months, the president has seen his approval among Black voters drop 19 points since last spring, according to an NBC News poll.

 

Similarly, Gallup has tracked a 13-point drop among Democratic voters writ large since last summer with regard to the president’s standing. With this confirmation process and the prospects of a booming economy and ebbing inflation heading into the summer and fall, Biden is well-positioned to bounce back among these key constituencies.

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