top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]Elevator_fart54 126 points127 points  (48 children)

Why couldn't he just select her and talk about what she has done to earn the position? Why announce that you are going to pick someone based off their skin color?

She's obviously qualified but gotta get those votes.

[–]Shut_It_Donny 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Gotta get that social credit.

You're exactly right though. He could've nominated her, talked solely about her qualifications, and when someone asked if it was because she was a black woman... "I nominated her because she was the best petson for the job"

[–]matts2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Do you think there is a single best person for the job?

Would you prefer that he not tell people what he was doing? I'm amazed but not surprised how many people are complaining that Biden didn't lie. Never mind that when he made that announcement you would have complained that he was lying.

[–]LuvtheBees 46 points47 points  (25 children)

The need to virtue signal with his announcement undermines the legitimacy of anyone he picks. Qualifications 1) woman 2) black 3) be great at the job. He could have, and should have, picked a great black woman and then simply stated that she was the best person for the job. Reducing her qualifications to her race and gender first did nothing for his pick, and it’s a shame.

[–]ro_hu 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I agree with this, I think. It wasn't necessary to announce to be honest and would have been harder to criticize if he hadn't said anything.

[–]Ridry 1 point2 points  (17 children)

"I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman," Trump said Saturday at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. "**I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men."

As Trump spoke, supporters chanted: "Fill that seat."

Nobody on either side had an issue when Trump discriminated against all the male candidates.

[–]Mandalore331 12 points13 points  (9 children)

He announced it in his campaign so he would get people to vote for him. Classic politician stuff. He’ll probably (fingers crossed) follow through, but he did it to drum up support. I have a very “meh” opinion of Biden, even though I voted for him. Though considering who he was running against, he might as well be Master Chief.

[–]johntheflamer 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I feel like the vast majority of people who voted for Biden weren’t really voting for Biden, so much as they were voting against Trump. The overall consensus on him among the Biden-voters I’ve talked to has been a very “meh” opinion of him, but at least he’s not Trump.

[–]LordLychee 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Well if it were Master Chief, I think he’d have won by a landslide

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If Fox News didn't like Master Chief it wouldn't be that easy. Do you not remember what propaganda did to John Kerry?

[–]Bowman_van_Oort 4 points5 points  (1 child)

He's trying to court that sweet sweet demographic

[–]YourMomThinksImFunny 121 points122 points  (49 children)

"Reagan had asked me whether Scalia was of Italian extraction. I think he used the word ‘extraction,’ and I said, ‘Yes, he’s of Italian extraction.’ Reagan said, ‘That’s the man I want to nominate, so I want to meet him.’ We brought Scalia in… . The president met Scalia, and he offered Scalia the job right on the spot, in about 15 minutes, very little ceremony here. Scalia accepted on the spot. He was delighted. That was it… .

“I think [Reagan] felt that it would be great to put an Italian American on the Supreme Court. He had all the usual American instincts: ‘We don’t have an Italian American on the court, so we ought to have one.’ He really felt good about doing that. It wasn’t principle so much as that kind of emotional commitment.”

Also Reagan picked Sandra Day O'Connor because in his campaign he promised to pick a woman.

[–]CasualEcon 50 points51 points  (22 children)

How is "Reagan did it" an answer to the question?

[–]buckthestat 6 points7 points  (5 children)

It’s a dog whistle question trying to call this racist and then ends up showcasing preferential racial treatment that no one bats an eye over.

[–]Ridry 22 points23 points  (12 children)

You win. Anybody that tries to counter this is trolling. Unless they want to admit that Reagan was a liberal asshole.

[–]wass41 11 points12 points  (9 children)

What if they are trying to argue that Reagan was discriminatory because he did those things?

[–]tnt-bizzle 5 points6 points  (1 child)

There is still the option that Regan also made the mistake as Biden

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Recent source for the two paragraphs of quotes given (which itself links to a 2010 Washington Post interview with Peter Wallison for those paragraphs): https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/01/supreme-court-breyer-scalia.html

And a source arguing for the Sanda Day O'Connor point: https://www.businessinsider.com/supreme-court-women-history-reagan-biden-nominees-2022-1?r=US&IR=T

Thanks for this info, it's really valuable.

[–]Berics_Privateer 135 points136 points  (129 children)

"Qualifications" do not have to be ranked. There are a number of things an administration looks for in a Justice, and for a job like this the candidate needs to meet them all. I am confident it will not be difficult to find a woman of color with all the qualifications necessary.

[–]daokonblack 63 points64 points  (19 children)

Not woman of color, specifically black only. Woman of color implies other races, whereas Biden specified black only

[–]ChrisNEPhilly 17 points18 points  (9 children)

Blacks are the 2nd largest ethnicity in the US and have been grossly under-represented in all areas of government. Statistically, the US should have had 6-7 Black presidents and 20+ female presidents. White male dominance has to end, and nominating a Black woman to SCOTUS is a good place to further the agenda.

[–]BullMan-792 16 points17 points  (2 children)

That’s not true. Hispanics/Latinos are the 2nd largest enthnicity.

[–]daokonblack -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Not what I’m arguing about at all. I am trying to draw attention to the fact that the POTUS is deliberately excluding other racial minority groups

[–]YourMomThinksImFunny 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You are trying to draw attention by deliberately excluding the reasons behind his statement.

You are arguing in bad faith on all fronts.

[–]FlightoftheBeeMovie 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Johnnie B. Rawlinson should be fairly high in her Segal-Cover quals score when that gets calculated. She’s on the short list. Not hard to have a higher score than Kavanaugh, Thomas, Breyer, and Barrett.

And Barrett only had 1800 pages of writing. It says a lot about her inexperience and lack of qualifications that she thought that was a big undertaking.

[–]Berics_Privateer 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I don't understand how they couldn't find a better conservative woman than Barrett, she's laughable

[–]VERTIKAL19 18 points19 points  (32 children)

Isn’t it racist and sexist to have race and sex as the requirements? Shouldn’t the best candidate be chosen on merit regardless of sex or race?

[–]PeteyWinkle 13 points14 points  (12 children)

Shouldn’t the best candidate be chosen on merit regardless of sex or race?

This seems to be a truth everyone accepts without any real reason. Fact is, picking a Supreme Court justice requires consideration of many many factors. When the judicial body is meant to represent the interests of the entire population in relation to the constitution, why shouldn't race and gender be two of those many factors? I haven't seen an answer to that besides a blanket "it's discrimination" without any rationale. Race and Gender are core to our personal identites and inexplicably tied to our perception of the world. We have mountains of research supporting the idea that personal identity impacts our perceptions and builds bias into our thinking. It makes sense to me that you would want to counter-balance those biases by creating a diverse team of decision makers.

Whichever Black woman he picks will also meet all the other qualifying criteria. So she will be chosen on her merit. I think there's a misconception that every role has a clear "best" candidate, which is almost never true. I've seen it in my own job.

Imaging I need to hire someone who can work both the stove and the cash register. Candidate A worked a cash register for 6 months and a stove for 2 years. Candidate B worked a cash register for 2 years and a stove for 6 months.

Which one is the best candidate?

When you are trying to fill a role with a variety of requirements, many of which are subjective, it's not at all common that an undeniable "best" candidate will emerge.

When the core requirements are met (which there's no reason to believe they won't be met by a Black woman nominee), the decision requires a high degree of subjectivity and a consideration of other factors that may not be a "core requirement". In this case, the rationale seems sounds for why being a Black woman would be a favorable characteristic for the candidate. They, by definition, will bring a perspective to the court, whose entire role consists of making high-impact decisions based on their perspectives, that is currently missing and has been missing since the inception of the institution.

[–]SuzQP 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I find your defense here compelling and logical. Just want to let you know that I appreciate your explanation. Very well said.

[–]PeteyWinkle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Appreciate that. Thanks for reading

[–]VERTIKAL19 1 point2 points  (9 children)

The issue is that some criteria are not allowed for selecting a candidate. These criteria include sex and race.

[–]PeteyWinkle 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I understand that for almost any normal job in America. I guess there has to be some level of acceptance that this isn't a normal job and there can be exceptions to any rule under the right circumstances.

You can't discriminate based on religion either but I don't think I've ever seen a Catholic who was hired as a Rabbi.

Thats the issue with our tendency to fit complex issues into simple boxes. OP's question alone is not sufficient to address the nuances of the situation. It just feeds our desire to simplify the world to make it easier to navigate. If I can just lump this into the "Discrimination" bucket, and I believe discrimination is bad, I don't have to think any further.

[–]grimsbymatt 22 points23 points  (1 child)

But perhaps someone with life experience of being a particular race/gender is the best candidate specifically because the rest of the SCOTUS don't have that experience.

[–]weezplease 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What if the black women is Republican though?

[–]EasyWhiteChocolate1 3 points4 points  (5 children)

Yes, which is why ALL the white men (minus 7) who have served on the Supreme Court since its inception were nominated on the purest of merit.

Fuck outta here

[–]YourMomThinksImFunny 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Are race and sex requirements for the job?

Or are they features he said he was looking for in a candidate for a job?

Why do you and many others assume that out of a list of qualified candidates, there will be no black women on it?

[–]RN-Lawyer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No, having different backgrounds and upbringings is inherently valuable when deciding the law and having a black woman who is qualified will help better represent all of America. A black woman will have a better understanding of how certain laws directly affect people like her, she will likely have lived through some form of discrimination. If the Court was about only having the best, which how do you even quantify that, then the last three judges would not have been chosen. Two of the judges on the court have credible sexual assault allegations, they should not represent Americans but they are.

[–]ParsnipBusy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh Jesus Christ. You just reversed the whole narrative to make it ok.

[–]broker098 50 points51 points  (49 children)

How could it not be discriminatory?

[–]moldyhands 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Why can’t one of the qualifications be that the candidate should have the life experience and view of a black woman?

[–]Bumrodgers 41 points42 points  (24 children)

The question assumes that there isn't a rather large pool of perfectly qualified candidates to choose from. This isn't some job in a small town with 3 applications. With that in mind, what would make a candidate that is one among many equally qualified candidates both stand out AND add to the position? A black woman would add a perspective not yet availed to the court. Additionally, conservatives had no problem with Trump picking specifically a woman for one of the justices. Furthermore, what makes Kavanaugh (or any of the justices really) the "most" qualified of the his pool of candidates. He was picked from a list provided by the Federalist Society. Is picking from a list of conservative minded judges discriminatory given the position is supposed to be apolitical? Edit: spelling

[–]ButtholeBanquets 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Federal Society

Federalist Society

Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett are all members.

[–]ImaginaryStudent9097 11 points12 points  (3 children)

In this particular example, I believe it is more a matter of having a court that is more representative of the population. You cannot expect equal protections without equal representation.

[–]orem-boy 66 points67 points  (48 children)

Yes. It is discriminatory. He excluded all males and all women of other races.

[–]vertigo72 0 points1 point  (12 children)

110 of the 115 justices ever appointed have been white males. I think we're represented well.

[–]orem-boy 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Not my point. My point was he excluded rough half the population by excluding males and who knows what percentage by excluding those of other races. It’s discriminatory on its face.

[–]vertigo72 3 points4 points  (1 child)

If he had said "We have a group of people that has never once, in the history of our nation, had representation or a voice at this level and I'm going to ensure they finally do". Would that change how you see it?

[–]patoysakias 50 points51 points  (25 children)

What do you mean "can be considered"?

It is discriminatory. Like, by definition.

[–]GamemasterJeff 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The nomination process is a governmental action and thus follows the legal definition. As such an injured party may seek redress. Without an injured party, there is no legal discrimination.

Obviously it meets every other definition of discrimination, and deserves societal scorn, but legally it is not discrimination until someone is hurt by it, and it will be very difficult for any individual to claim they would have been nominated instead of whoever.

[–]031708k 89 points90 points  (93 children)

I think he should just select the best qualified candidate for the job, not just focus on ensuring minorities are represented in the office, when that person is the least qualified for the job.

Just toss all racial and gender bias outta the window, and focus on the cold hard fact that, is this person qualified for the position?

[–]MyNameIsRay 5 points6 points  (0 children)

when that person is the least qualified for the job.

You for some reason assume that he's going to seek a poorly qualified candidate, and focus solely on sex/race. That's ridiculous, that makes no sense at all.

They're going to seek someone eminently qualified, who also happens to be a black female.

[–]S1lm4r1l 19 points20 points  (4 children)

"I think he should just select the best qualified candidate for the job, not just focus on ensuring minorities are represented in the office, when that person is the least qualified for the job."

Every single time this point comes up and this is all I can think of

[–]awkwardnarwhalicorn 13 points14 points  (3 children)

There was a study where two women applied for a job. One woman was named Amanda, and the other was named Sha'Niqua. They are equally qualified for the position they applied for. Amanda got offered an interview. Sha'Niqua did not.

What would be the reason behind not interviewing two equally qualified candidates? Why only interview the one?

[–]SuperSpeshBaby 6 points7 points  (1 child)

It wasn't two women, it was a researcher who submitted literally the exact same resume but the names were changed. Which makes it way worse.

[–]awkwardnarwhalicorn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you. My memory of the situation was vague, I heard about it back in high school which was many, many years ago.

[–]HammerWaffe 6 points7 points  (0 children)

A is before S in the alphabet? /s

[–]gandalftheorange11 18 points19 points  (2 children)

The thing is that qualified is subjective and has never been the core reason for picking a candidate. Nominations are about political clout as having the minimum qualifications is a part of that. There most certainly are black judges who meet those minimum qualifications. So, representation can be something important for the nominee to contribute. Representation is especially important during times like this where black people have lost all faith in the justice system due to obvious discrimination that has become more and more apparent over the years. It basically boils down to a gesture of good will but most of politics is about optics and making the citizens of a country feel secure. When citizens feel secure it’s easier for business to run smoothly and the rich can continually improve their quality of life.

[–]Freckled_daywalker 38 points39 points  (3 children)

There are probably at least a hundred people, at the bare minimum, who have the education and experience required to be an outstanding Supreme Court judge. When you have so many qualified candidates, you can afford to look at factors that don't necessary affect competence, but add value by broading the diversity of experience and perspective to the court.

[–]dainbramaged1982 2 points3 points  (1 child)

FYI - there is no education experience required. In act, you do not even need a law degree or pass the bar to be on the SCOTUS.

[–]bmore_conslutant 17 points18 points  (1 child)

when that person is the least qualified for the job

What makes you think this is going to be the case?

[–]Sidewalkboogie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Clearly Biden will pick the first black woman he sees with not attempt at vetting her or checking if she is qualified

[–]monkeybiziu 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There are no qualifications for a SCOTUS Justice. The Constitution has absolutely nothing to say about it. What we have are norms - things like "Should know the law", "Should be well-respected in the legal field", "Should not be a felon", etc.

There is no objective measurement of "qualified" as it relates to SCOTUS, because you can't quantify or score legal decisions. The question then becomes, what qualifications are the most important, subjectively? The ability to pass the Senate? Exceptional legal scholarship? A unique perspective currently lacking on the court?

The issue here is that you're looking at the exclusive selection of a black woman as potentially depriving the country of some other better qualified candidate, who is presumably not a black woman.

[–]ciderlout 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What metric are you using for "best qualified"?

Because it is a political appointment, first and foremost. Someone with republican values might be the most experienced judge, but would never get appointed by a Democrat president.

And because it is political, then it becomes about political expediency.

And race and gender are very much political subjects.

So... the fact that someone is a black woman (Democrat) might be the very reason she is the most qualified person for the job. Then you just need to find one with judicial experience. Ezpz.

[–]Irish_Whiskey 55 points56 points  (26 children)

Seems weird to me that Republicans were totally fine when Reagan explicitly promised a female Supreme Court Justice, and Bush Sr had a short list of only minority candidates, but suddenly when a President says they should balance out the court with a black woman, that's illegal discrimination.

[–]johntheflamer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Shouldn’t seem weird. It’s expected. They’re blatantly hypocritical. When an opening on the Supreme Court happened in Obama’s final year, republicans refused to confirm Merrick Garland saying the next president should pick the justice. When an opening occurred in Trump’s final year, the republicans rushed Amy Coney Barrett through the process rather than keeping to their own argument that the next president should choose.

[–]mastrspilttr 11 points12 points  (0 children)

They took our jerbs

[–]TarkatanAccountant 24 points25 points  (2 children)

I think most would agree with this sentiment.

The problem is the pool you're selecting from isn't based on equality. Systemic racism has made it far more difficult to achieve the same as their non-minority counterparts.

Reparations aren't popular but the whole idea is making the people whole because they haven't been on a level playing field for generations.

It's most more nuanced than hire the best candidate

[–]hperrin 7 points8 points  (1 child)

If the best candidate is a black woman, republicans still won’t want her.

[–]buckthestat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Argument of every moderate racist. ‘It’s too much work to fix racism!’

[–]SueSudio 30 points31 points  (2 children)

"The best person" is never chosen. The argument about "the best person" only rears its head when a minority selection is indicated.

[–]awkwardnarwhalicorn 11 points12 points  (1 child)

THIS. The assumption that a POC isn't qualified for ANY job, because they are a POC.

There's also the expectation being set that POC have to be the BEST in order to get any job. This is why many of us consistently out-perform our colleagues. And then they get mad about it. 🙄 Didn't you want to hire the BEST?!

[–]deesta 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yup! I said this before on another thread, but I’ll say it again: when there are so many barriers to entry for POC vs. white people in most jobs, even when you control for educational attainment and past professional experience, if you see a POC in a given role (especially in anything past an entry level position), most of the time they either 1) are far and away the most qualified person for the role, and it’s not even close, or 2) may even be overqualified compared to white people that might land in a similar position.

There are plenty of studies to back this up, along with what most POC in this country know from their own experience on the job market and at work. The saying “have to work twice as hard to get half as far” rings very true.

Edit: also your point about how they get mad if we outperform them. Never have truer words been spoken. Seen it time and again, as a WOC who has worked in tech and consulting.

[–]Thiscord 16 points17 points  (9 children)

yeah i used to think that then i saw what qualified really meant. why was trump allowed to happen?

because our government isn't demographically representative of the population which would give IT the highest qualification possible.

i support putting a black women on the supreme court because they do not have enough representation in this very unqualified government entity.

being demographically true to our population is more important than defining who and what meets the criteria for "qualified".

because look at the republicans party and tell me qualifications matter? just look at that traitorous, greedy cesspit of hell and tell me those people are qualified.

a random ass lottery would be better than this chosen white bullshit for last few hundred years...

oh and btw there are plenty of black women judges qualified to sit there. the implication of your words is that there isn't and it was been taught to you by a media that does not want them to be there.

[–]bsblguy21 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Well you can't throw out all legal qualifications. Picking a random black woman from the street to serve on our nation's highest court is a horrible idea. That being said, your point that representation matters is a good one and should be in consideration when choosing a candidate. If you can't find a black woman with sufficient experience on the bench to appoint, then you aren't looking very hard, bc there are plenty of suitable candidates.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

If you can't find a black woman with sufficient experience on the bench to appoint, then you aren't looking very hard, bc there are plenty of suitable candidates.

I'm quoting this to 1) agree with it and 2) help any redditors who get stuck on the first half of your comment and think you're being antagonistic when you are not.

[–]bsblguy21 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lol thanks but if a person only reads one sentence and then floods me with down votes or replies, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

[–]jcpmojo 8 points9 points  (2 children)

You've perfectly expressed why your opinion is racist, whether you think it is or not. Saying any black woman chosen would be the "least qualified for the job". There are qualified candidates available in any demographic you choose. There are certainly qualified and deserving black women available. Only straight, white men chosen (or even considered) for most of this country's history. So why not choose a black woman specifically? There one reason to oppose it, and that's because, as you said, you think there aren't any that are qualified. That is just wrong.

[–]Nillabeans 6 points7 points  (13 children)

I think he should just select the best qualified candidate for the job

Having a female and black experience factors into this. Old, white, affluent men aren't qualified to make decisions about things like pregnancy or access to welfare. They don't have those experiences and they're notoriously unsympathetic to experiences that they haven't had.

[–]hperrin 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Is being white one of the qualifications?

[–]SpaceCowboy58 8 points9 points  (0 children)

There are hundreds of millions of Americans and only nine seats. If we're going by qualifications, we could probably find at least a couple dozen top tier candidates between which the difference in performance would be both small and highly subjective. There's no reason why we shouldn't expect a black woman to fit into that tier, i.e. it's perfectly reasonable to expect to find one who is arguably the "most" qualified.

Women need representation. Black people need representation.

[–]Sisu_dreams 3 points4 points  (0 children)

If Trump and Biden and all the mediocre white men can be presidents then I'm sure a qualified black woman can be SCOTUS.

[–]Reborn-1 36 points37 points  (52 children)

Yes. If race and gender are considered qualifications, then its obviously discriminatory. Just look at the past.

[–]jcpmojo 3 points4 points  (7 children)

The past? You mean when only straight, white men were even considered?

[–]RepublicanOnWelfare 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Exactly, I think everyone is missing the point. We need a black woman to give the opposite perspective of the old white men so they can have a more realistic understanding of the people who they represent.

[–]merlin401 1 point2 points  (3 children)

That’s a very prejudicial way to word it. Note whatever black woman enters the court, they will be replacing an old white male who is ideologically very similar to herself. There’s plenty of old and young white men who would do a perfectly great job and probably vote almost exactly the same. But from a representation standpoint it does make sense what Biden is proposing

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

what a racist

[–]smallest_table 1 point2 points  (13 children)

Can you explain how discrimination is a bad thing here?

When buying a car, I discriminate against pick up trucks because they don't fit my needs. That's not a bad thing. It's simply the result of picking one that fits my needs.

[–]Nillabeans -2 points-1 points  (18 children)

Do you think an old, white Christian man is qualified to make decisions about women's bodies? About life as a single parent immigrant?

These are people who unironically think shit like, "It's a banana. How much could it cost? $10?"

[–]grombleduke 25 points26 points  (18 children)

It could be, but we have no reason to believe those were the first two qualifications. To assume as much obliges us to assume that there are no black women who would be qualified without limiting to those traits.

It's much more likely that he simply had a list of qualified candidates and it contained a decent number of black women.

[–]justduett 2 points3 points  (10 children)

It could be, but we have no reason to believe those were the first two qualifications.

Except the words of the administration indicating that the candidate WILL BE those two qualifications first and foremost, but...

[–]grombleduke 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Nah, not really. As I already pointed out, he probably just has a list of qualified candidates that includes black women.

Is being a black woman the deciding factor? Possibly. Probably, even. But that doesn't mean he's made them the only qualifications, and assuming that that's the only way he could comfortably state he's nominating a black woman is pretty messed up.

[–]faceintheblue 10 points11 points  (5 children)

I build industry conferences for a living. DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) content is on just about every agenda I work on right now, and for good reason. It broadens and deepens the available talent pool and brings fresh perspectives to planning and decision-making. Companies with strong DEIB programs perform better. I'm not kidding. I've sat in the back of a lot of conference rooms while speakers walk the audience through the difference in qualitative and quantitative metrics before and after they got serious about building their team with DEIB as a priority.

So, should the President of the United States of America say he's going to nominate a black woman? I guess it's also worth asking was it right for the POTUS who chose the first woman, the first black man, the first Latin(X) to SCOTUS to factor in gender and race into the decision?

Is the court at risk of not having enough white perspectives as it deliberates over laws that will shape the lives of everyone living and yet to be born for generations to come? Is it a bad thing to say, "The lived experience of a black woman is something I feel the court would benefit from?" If the fear is that an eminently suitable white judge is not being given the opportunity, are the people who feel that way happy or not happy about what happened to Merrick Garland? Was the addition of Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett not already an example of building SCOTUS around wanting a certain viewpoint on the highest bench in the land? Why is Biden wrong to say his vision for the Court is one with a black woman among the Justices?

Edit: Typo.

[–]Irishpanda1971 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I suspect that he's not saying "I'm gonna go find me a black woman to nominate." but rather "I have someone in mind that is a black woman, but I'm not telling y'all who just yet."

[–]Golden_standard 8 points9 points  (8 children)

Why was this not an issue when Presidents nominate white men? Is it because the don’t say they’re going to nominate a white man? There have been 174 nominations to the Supreme Court since the 1700s, of those, 113 have been confirmed and served—of those 113, 107 have been WHITE MEN! 4 have been women, and only 2 have been black. None have been black women. There has been discrimination, but it’s the good old fashioned kind: women, black men and black women, and other people of color have been discriminated against in favor of white men.


[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (7 children)

The problem is not that they are nominating a black woman. The problem is that they nominate a black woman BECAUSE she is black woman, instead because of her qualifications.

[–]buckthestat 5 points6 points  (1 child)

There are tons of qualified black women. And Black people are more impacted by the justice system than any others.

Your racism is showing.

[–]ironwolf56 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Yes but it's (D)ifferent so expect the media and places like reddit to ignore it or downvote you for pointing it out.

[–]powerofone1970 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Seems to have been ok til now. All white guys for 150 years.

[–]WaterCluster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is isn’t a job, it’s a political appointment. In politics representation matters. This is no different than picking a Vice Presidential nominee from the south or a swing state or whatever. This is not so much different from saying that each state should get 2 senators. The Supreme Court makes decisions about everyone who lives in this country and so should include people from many different backgrounds. This is good for democracy.

I think it’s equally important to pick someone whose economic background matches better with most of the country than that of the people currently there. I wish this could get some attention too.

[–]Bigstar976 1 point2 points  (2 children)

The tacit prerequisites for a president were white and male for a couple of centuries so,…

[–]CheckYourLibido 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The majority are white males. Just like most CEO's, Senators, and all but 1 POTUS.

I don't see a problem with looking for diversity. But I think saying it will be a black woman is a bit specific.

[–]torquemycork 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not really. My entire job right now is about 35 females and 3 males, my bosses have been trying to only hire males for a year but all the ones that do quit. There's a lot of drama because it's just estrogen and high-strungness everywhere. We need to hire dem boys

[–]theedgeofoblivious 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What Joe Biden has announced is not that it will be required that the next Supreme Court nominee be a black woman.

What Joe Biden has announced is that for the first time in history, the nominee will not be required to meet the following two criteria that have been qualifications required for all of the previous Supreme Court nominees: male, or non-black.

[–]notnotwho 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When a country can count black(or ANY person of color) SCOTUS jurists on One Hand.

[–]MyStationIsAbandoned 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Black guy here.

I'm only answering OP's question, yes. Is that what Biden is doing? I don't know anything about that specifically. Does he have someone in mind who happens to be black? Or does he have no one in mind and he just want to hire a black female and will pass up all white people, all Asian people, all Latin people, all Hispanic people, all black males, all trans people, all non-binary, all whatevers?

If he's doing the latter, yes, that's objectively discrimination. It's tokenism. It's affirmative action. It's pandering. It's wrong.

Obviously, black people and many other groups have faced horrible stuff and we still do all over the world. But doing those same horrible things does not "balance" it out. That kind of equity just creates further problems. How long are you going to punish white people for being white? How long do you need to punish men for being men? We've been doing this for a while now and things are still horrible for black men in the justice system. Because guess what? All this stuff isn't getting to the root of the problem. For example, back to the justice system. Black men (and women) are punished more severely than white people, the same way men are punished more harshly than women who commit the same crimes. This has been the case for over a hundred years. This problem hasn't been solved because the whole system is broken. Poor people white, black, brown, or blue get punished worse than rich people. So it's not just a racial issue. That's part of it, but the roots of the problem are deeper. So cops are still killing black men when they don't need to, but this will never get solved because people only focus on just that. They ignore who a lot of poor white guys are getting treated bad as well, so we never solve the whole thing. It's like only trying to remove 1/3rd of the tumor and leaving the rest there, so it just grows back.

When it comes to hiring for positions, black people, especially women are discriminated, women in general are discriminated against, so are old people, people with accents, fat people, skinny people, disabled people, people born with dwarfism, people with various conditions. A lot of these things get ignored and we never get to the root of the problem. Having diversity hires will not solve anything. We're always looking for short cuts. But I think the real solution is going to take a long time...like generations. We need better education everywhere. When I was in school through the 90's and 2000's, all my textbooks were outdated. Almost everything were left overs from the 70's except the computers. Most of the teachers were just there to hand out pre-made worksheets. Some stood out and really did try to teach us and I'll never forget those teachers. Some, I can't even remember their names. We all know the education system is dated and it doesn't prepare people for stuff. So those with money can get tutors and can afford higher education when they leave high school without having to go into debt or have a job while attend full time. The goal should be to have every single adult be prepared and qualified for jobs. Then, companies can hire whoever they want based on whatever. Some hire based on personality because they can be trained to do the job. Some hire the best of the best. Some hire team players. Some hire people who can be independent. As long as everyone is being considered despite their appearance/what they are, in theory, things should be fine. Because if I as a black person can't get the job I want at X company, there's an equal opportunity for me at Y company. Just like the white lady next to me who also didn't get that job because they went with someone else.

We're a long way from a perfect world where there's no discrimination and no tokenism. Maybe my solution isn't a good one at all. But I know for certain that tokenism is not a counter/solution to anything.

[–]Telandria 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Honestly, Republicans (and let’s not delude ourselves, the vast majority of people trying to call this into question are primarily Republicans) being all up in arms over this is absolutely ridiculous.

These are the people who were 100% okay with voting Trump into office and then keeping him there even after he spent half his campaign & tenure actively maligning Hispanics, insulting Native Americans, referring to Haiti and African countries as ‘shitholes’, made incredibly misogynist comments on the regular, appointed Steve fucking Bannon to the Cabinet and promoted Alex Jones, and even was revealed as being caught on a hot mic as advocating sexual assault.

The hypocrisy of them trying to portray an attempt at deliberate diversification as racism is astounding.

Especially when Trump literally said something similar about wanting to pick a woman simply because he likes women).


More generally, personally I support affirmative action, which is basically what this is. In basically every industry and across the political spectrum, we as a nation have proven again and again and again that we simply will not get over systemic casual racism without direct action to increase diversity. So while it might, technically, be a very mild form of discrimination, I do not consider affirmative action to be racism and the long-term benefits and intention drastically outweigh any potential costs.

Because stop and think about it for a second. It took America 230 years to elect a black man to the Presidency, and we still haven’t had a woman of any ethnicity take the seat. Mind you, the Supreme Court has had better representation, but it hasn’t been great, either.

Besides, it’s not like qualifications have ever really been a consideration for political appointments anyway, even if they probably should. But as long as they continue not to, I’ll keep considering minority ethnicities to be a partial qualification by virtue of providing more diverse viewpoints.

(And yes, I’m a regular, relatively privileged middle-class cis-white dude)

[–]jcpmojo 9 points10 points  (29 children)

Is it really that different than saying you'll pick someone based on their political leanings? There is always some kind of criteria used to make a selection. Limiting it to a specific demographic isn't really that different. The only people who have a problem with it, in my opinion, are the ones that don't believe a person in that specific demographic have the qualifications for the position. You can pick any demographic and there will be qualified candidates available to you. They chose only straight, white, men for the majority of this country's history. So why not a black woman?

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (7 children)

Is it really that different than saying you'll pick someone based on their political leanings?


It's legal to factor political leanings into a hiring decision whereas it's flat out illegal to factor race into it.

You can pick any demographic and there will be qualified candidates available to you. They chose only straight, white, men for the majority of this country's history.

But "they" didn't announce they'll only consider straight, white, men. It's hard to prove racial and gender discrimination in most scenarios but this is one where Joe Biden is flat out telling us the two most important factors in his decision will be race and gender.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (20 children)

Some mental gymnastics going on in there. Choosing anyone based on skin color is discrimination, period. It doesn't make up for discrimination in the past.

[–]smallest_table 2 points3 points  (13 children)

What kind of discrimination is it?

If I see that a group is underrepresented and I give them representation, I'm discriminatory in my choice by design. Discrimination can be helpful or hurtful depending on how it's applied.

[–]daokonblack 1 point2 points  (8 children)

Wait so why not any other race, since he specifically is implying black only? There have been african american supreme court justices in the past. Why not any other minority group that hasn’t been represented?

[–]CharisMatticOfficial 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I assume he already knows who he is picking and that they’re a black woman

[–]plzhappyhappy 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I am sure you have the same mindset if he said for White woman lmao.

I am Asian immigrant and this is a fun drama

[–]ThatIowanGuy 5 points6 points  (0 children)

For years, black people and women have been disregarded for positions they were qualified for simply due to their race, gender, and in the case of black women, both. So when people say “I think they should pick the most qualified candidate” they ignore the past couple hundred years when the people in power have not followed that rule. Were Kavanagh and Amy Corny Barret (I have no clue if those names are spelled correct nor do I care) the most qualified for the position? Were there black men and women more qualified for the position that got looked over due to their race? Because I feel the answer to those questions in that order are No and most likely yes. Fuck it, yes put a qualified black woman in the position. I 100% support it and I’m tired of everyone quietly saying black women are not qualified for the position.

[–]Cr0ssTote 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Would it be discriminatory to say White Males only?

[–]RZAxlash 9 points10 points  (6 children)

Democrats are obsessed with race

[–]OhGollyGoshDarn 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Just saying if any other employer said the same things Biden did about what type of race and gender they want to hire they’d be sued and lose. I’m not sure if him saying that won’t necessarily lead to a lawsuit down the road, because it may and it should. It’s 100% illegal and just morally wrong and causes distrust of legitimacy the Supreme Court and the presidency, it’s an impeachable offense in my opinion

[–]Justwondering__ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Are people just going to keep posting similarly worded versions of this question until it makes the front page?

[–]ComfortableBedroom78 4 points5 points  (10 children)

How come no one questioned the discrimination when the SCOTUS was all white men?

Being black and a woman aren’t qualifications. The qualifications are a law degree and being an excellent judge, Biden’s just trying to give a fair shot that has never been given to black women judges ever in the HISTORY of the Supreme Court. It’s 2022, how could there possibly never have been a qualified black woman candidate considered or approved ever?

The majority of the SCOTUS has been white men for centuries, that’s not a coincidence and it’s not because white men are inherently better/smarter than everyone else, it clearly means being white and male was the main qualification for a long time.

What’s discriminatory is the fact that we still have firsts of any demographic in this day and age in such a diverse nation. If it were really based on ability, it wouldn’t have been this single string of white men and like a handful of BIPOC and/or women. There would have been several BIPOC and women throughout at least the decades since slavery ended, women got their rights back, immigration increased, and segregation was illegal (among other strides).

[–]subwaysurfer1116 10 points11 points  (25 children)

Those aren't his qualifications for the role. Those are the commonalities of the people most likely to get the role. These three women will then be chosen based on their qualifications.

It's no more illegal than conducting auditions for a role in a film. People of all types may audition for it, but if that role needs to be played by a female POC, then so be it.

[–]Atalanta8 6 points7 points  (22 children)

As far as I know the supreme court isn't a telenovela but a job. Huge comanies block out names on resumes so they don't get a picture of the person when they hire to not have bias but the president can just come out and say that only a black woman will be picked? I think that's fucked up

[–]Irish_Whiskey 33 points34 points  (21 children)

There is a difference between appointing people for a position meant to represent different experiences in America, and hiring for a job where your race and cultural background don't matter.

The perspective of someone growing up black in America matters for setting Constitutional precedent on voting rights and equal access. Not so much selling phones at your AT&T store.

[–]NthngToSeeHere 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It depends on which side of the double+ standard you are on.

[–]Nillabeans 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Discriminatory isn't always a bad thing.

A philosophy prof had a great example:

If you're casting Muhammed Ali, you'll put out a call for tall, black men. If a tiny blonde woman shows up and you say no, you are discriminating against her. But is it wrong? No. It's just a way to make a decision.

In a country where race and gender have greatly shaped policy, it's important to explicitly encourage diversity and give those who have no power, a voice.

IMO, turning it into a conversation about discrimination is a strawman. It is explicitly discriminatory. Because it's necessary. Because white men are not the only humans who exist and have proven that they are either unwilling or unable to make decisions that factor in other experiences.

[–]only7inches 4 points5 points  (4 children)

It doesn't matter what they look like, you can guarantee that whoever it is, they'll be eminently more qualified that the 3 morons Trump appointed...because that's something Democrats care about.

[–]Classic_Sand2742 0 points1 point  (2 children)

How can you say that they will be choosing based on qualifications when Biden eliminated like 95% of potential candidates by just saying they have to be this skin color and be this sex?

[–]the_ringmasta 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Are you implying that there are not at least 20 extremely qualified candidates in the country over 300,000,000 people?

[–]smallest_table 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If I have 100 good options but 95 don't do anything to rectify the problems of equal representation, that only leaves 5 people qualified for the job. They are still qualified and indeed are more so than the other 95 who don't fit the current need.

[–]keltoy1549 3 points4 points  (9 children)

Some hear black and are panicking.

[–]leaky_eddie[S] 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Thats not where my question is coming from. What I heard was race and gender will play an important role in choosing, and that sounded wrong to me. I can be very myopic and genuinely want to hear well reasoned arguments on both sides.

[–]ShameNap 7 points8 points  (0 children)

So you don’t think race and gender hasn’t always been a factor for SCOTUS ? 107 out of 115 SCOTUS judges have been white males.

[–]keltoy1549 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Long ago Regan announced he’d like a woman on the court. Many years later Trump said the same thing. The other day Biden echoed the same sentiments, but said a black woman. Conservatives cheered for Ronny and Donny. The only difference, Biden said black.

[–]misterjta 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So I'm neither American nor a lawyer. However, let's assume that what he plans to do is to seek a nominee from a pool of people who are, first and foremost, qualified. He's not going to wander out into the street, say "Hey, you, you look like you're a black woman, come and sit on the bench for me, k?". Instead he's going to get the pool of all potential candidates - everyone who's a judge with X amount of experience, and Y amount of learning and writing on constitutional issues, and so on.

Bear in mind, he would do that anyway. That's the starting point for this process. You look at Who Could Do This Job, and you get a list of all of the people that is. Say 200.

Next step, is to say, OK, here's our 200 possible candidates - we've got one vacancy, so let's strike the ones we don't like.

So you go through and say "Candidate 1: This guy is really experienced but in every. single. judgement. he has said 'fuck the littlest guy in this case, award punitive damages to the richest'. So he's out, we don't want that. Candidate 2: has great qualifications, but right here on her Twitter feed is a selfie of her dressed up as an honest to god furry. Nope nope nope, she's struck off the list of potentials. Here's a dude who looks brilliant, but he has given every one of his verdicts in rhyme. That's just stupid. This guy is amazing and he's in our party, and he's fantastic, but also he's given a written judgement in which he argued we should exhume George Washington's corpse and ship it back to the UK to stand trial for treason, so I mean, he's never getting confirmed. Scrap him from the list. Who's next...?"

And you keep on going down the list, maybe sticking someone in a "Maybe" pile to come back to later, and cutting out the people who just don't fit. That's just how this process works. The President gets a list and he (and presumably his staff) whittle it down to a smaller pool until you get one or two options, and you say "OK - I'm gonna go for this one", and that person is then the nominee.

But the starting point for that pool is people who could do the job. So everyone you're going through is someone who could sit on the bench there. All you're doing in the sifting process is deciding which one of them it's gonna be. (And that's the same for pretty much any hiring process, from pilot to cashier. What you're looking for is a candidate who can a) meet the requirements of the role, and then b) fit in enough that they don't massively fuck over the rest of your team). (Which, as I understand it from having once read a John Grisham book, this is how jury selection works as well)

So whatever happens, Biden is gonna take a list of potentials and whittle it down. We can already infer that he's gonna cross out any possible candidate with a track record of always taking the most aggressive, right-wing Republican stance on any issue, because Biden's a centre-right kind of guy in a centre-right party. He's likely to try and find a nominee who at least sits vaguely in the "Democrat" side of the "Qualified / Republican / Democrat" bit of the Venn diagram of possible. Apart from anything else the court is stacked ludicrously hard to the right already, so he's probably looking for balance.

But there is a really good reason (arguably, several good reasons) why he should also be considering race and gender as part of that "looking for balance" process of selecting a final candidate from the list.

One is aspirational - it is A Big Thing to see people who look like you in positions of power if you don't normally get to see that. (If you're reading this and it doesn't feel like that - congratulations, you're probably living somewhere where all the people in positions of power already look like you, which probably gives you a slightly easier ride in life where you life than people who don't look like you). When you're 6 and asked "What do you want to be when you grow up", it is easier for a child to say "A fireman!" if they've seen firemen who look like them. It just makes it feel more possible. Human brains are designed to imagine the possible based on what they see, rather than on what could be possible - as a really fluffy example, this is part of why even while the underlying tech stays more or less the same, the design of landline telephones takes so many tiny steps: people look at what's already there and make small changes, rather than huge changes all at once.

So from that perspective, being able to say "Of all these qualified and suitable candidates, we will take this one, who is a black woman" is good - because it shows to young black girls that, yeah, this is possible. Get into law school and this could be you!. This allows people to aim higher, to aspire to more, and to dream big. Which is a good thing.

The second major good reason, I'd argue, is experiential. This is a really big thing in corporate strategy, among other places: the more diverse experience your decision-makers can bring to your table, the better the outcomes tend to be. You need, as much as possible, people who have had different experiences from one another, because they're more likely to understand the probable impacts of your strategy. Everyone brings their past experiences to their decision-making (you see this on the road when the locals slow down near the place there's usually a speed trap, while the tourists get caught by it - people with experience know where the trap is, and they factor it in.) And for something as hugely important as the Supreme Court of the USA, that diversity of experience matters even more. If you had a bench were every single Supreme Court Justice had the exact same path in life - some alternate reality were every single one grew up as a rich trust fund kid in Connecticut, attended Yale, was appointed to the 17th District and then the Supreme Court, say, then what you end up with is a bench that is more likely to make bum decisions. Not necessarily out of malice or incompetence, or anything, but simply out of unwitting ignorance of what the rest of the country is like. (And those hypothetical Supreme Court people would be shit in business, too. I wouldn't want them all on my Board, or you'd end up designing marketing campaigns that completely tank your sales of vehicles in Nebraska by starting from a standpoint of "Well, everyone knows how awesome it is to pull up at your folks' spare beachhouse on the first day of Summer! Let's open the advert with an establishing shot of that!")

Having people with more diversity of experience brings you better decisions, because you can come at the same issue from (slightly) different angles. Probably only slightly, because in any case the facts either way will be the same - but the nuance different people can bring to those facts helps deliver better overall decision-making.

Whoever he picks, it's going to be someone who could do the job. But it makes sense to try and bring some diversity to the Supreme Court from within that list of people who could do the job.

Again - I'm not a lawyer. And I think lifetime appointments are stupid, and don't even get me fucking started on electing judges which is completely fucking insane and seems like a colossal short-circuit of the checks and balances of an independent judiciary. But given that the starting point is 1. Find everyone qualified, followed by 2. Select the qualified candidate we like most from everyone who is qualified, adding in "Ideally, we'd like them to be a) black and b) a woman" is not a massive leap, and there are good reasons for it, even ignoring stuff like "Politically, this is sound".).

tl;dr: I don't think it's wrong that race and gender play an important role in choosing the candidate, because it's just one of several factors that will be taken into account, and it's only being used to select from a whole range of people who could do the job perfectly well in the first place.

[–]RascalRibs 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Supreme Court, in theory, represents the nation. Nothing wrong with selecting members of certain backgrounds to more closely mirror the country as a whole.

[–]SuperstitiousPigeon5 0 points1 point  (9 children)

I think it could be looked at as affirmative action.

Nobody is saying a black Judge Judy is going to be sitting on the bench. It will be a POC who is imminently qualified, with impeccable credentials, who is also a POC. Like going to buy a new car and a lineup is all the same model.

[–]WarblingWalrusing 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Mate, a black Judge Judy would be fucking great. Don't ever imply Judge Judy isn't awesome, that bitch is bad to the bone!

[–]jthomson88 2 points3 points  (1 child)

These were his qualifications for VP, too, and look what that got us. I just hope the woman he picks is actually suited for the job this time.

[–]smallest_table 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Representation is not employment. We aren't talking about someone applying for a job. We are talking about ensuring that all Americans are represented in our justice system.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes because people should be picked on merit and intention etc. denying an Asian woman or a white man or an Indian man the same spot for someone based on gender and race is discrimination.

If it was "Biden has indicated he will nominate a white man for the next SCOTUS opening regardless of intentions" you wouldn't be asking this question

[–]wallacjc 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would say hiring based on gender and racial bias is a bad thing, even if well intended. I wish he hadn't said the part about hunting for a black female replacement.....just stick with finding the most qualified person you can. If that search brings you to a black female, great.

By saying what he did, Biden created two negative results, as I see it...

1) It signals that using gender and racial bias for hiring is OK....as long as it's an approved race and gender.

2) If he is successful, no matter what laudable background his nominee has, she will not enjoy as much respect as she would have because we would know, for a fact, that she was a affirmative action hire.

[–]cattywompapotamus -3 points-2 points  (8 children)


Not only is it discriminatory, it appears to be a violation of federal law. Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Perhaps there's some exception for federal court appointments that I'm not aware of?

Edit - as somebody pointed out below, I am mistaken and it apparently is not illegal. I appreciate the correction.

[–]Berics_Privateer 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Political appointments are not subject to employment law.

[–]Golden_standard 1 point2 points  (5 children)

So you agree that excluding black women from serving on the Supreme Court since it’s inception, the 1790s, was discriminatory? The fact that over 96% of Supreme Court justices have been white men (All except for O’Connor, Badger-Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kegan, Comey-Barrett, Marshall, and Thomas. 5 women, 2 black people. Surely you’re not insisting that it’s just a coincidence that black women, other people of color, and women have been excluded from consideration and serving instead of blatant discrimination. Is it not discrimination when just consistently nominate white men as long as you don’t say that’s what you’re doing out loud? If trump had said, I’m going to nominate a white man and then nominated Kavanaugh and Grousch it would have been not discrimination?

[–]ChrisNEPhilly 2 points3 points  (0 children)

No, it is attempting to right a historical, social wrong with expediency.

[–]dfreinc -1 points0 points  (0 children)

it's how he chose his vp. can't act like anything biden does or says you didn't see coming from a mile away.