With Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on record as having said he will appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court, he is now being urged to appoint former first lady Michelle Obama to the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Obama is best positioned to symbolize the Afro-American promise,” states a commentary piece published by The Hill on Saturday and written by Roger House, an associate professor of American studies at Emerson College in Boston.
House wrote that Biden’s pick “must spotlight a woman who embodies the dream of the civil rights movement. That person is former first lady Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama.”
“In Obama, concerned Americans would be comforted by her well-known intellectual acumen and dedication to the goals of equal justice with fairness. She is singularly qualified to occupy the seat that inherits the ideals of Ginsburg,” he wrote.
“As the only African American first lady, Obama fostered one of the most welcoming and inclusive White House cultures in history and spoke out frequently on behalf of the rights of women and girls,” he wrote.
“Moreover, she brings insight as a Black woman of dark complexion who struggled to be confident in a society that values whiteness and lightness,” he wrote.
In House’s political math, if Biden named Obama as the individual he would pick, he would be pressuring some Republican senators to support her instead of a nominee proposed by President Donald Trump.
He named Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Martha McSally of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Steve Daines of Montana as senators who would “have to think twice before inciting the wrath of black and suburban women voters in their states. “
The concept inflamed some Twitter users.
I feel like y’all don’t know how dumb you sound when you’re pitching Michelle Obama for all these political positions 😭😭 Michelle Obama on the Supreme Court? I love her but what are her qualifications???
— deliooooo (@deliforniadream) September 19, 2020
Michelle Obama is an intelligent and capable woman, but she is not qualified to be a Supreme Court justice, and nominating her would do her no favors. See, eg, Harriet Miers. https://t.co/akseFusHuU
— Alexandra R. (@Alexa_MRo) September 20, 2020
By far the most Brain Worms political opinion is this longstanding idea that Michelle Obama would want to go anywhere near the Supreme Court
She hates politics, is freaking rich, and lives on yachts! https://t.co/z44cMzJUtE
— Trenton Jocz (@TrentonJocz) September 20, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was, by any definition, supremely qualified for the Supreme Court. Michelle Obama hasn’t practiced law for 27 years. https://t.co/coouY17Pz5
— John Fleming (@johnjf125) September 20, 2020
House wrote that simply mentioning that Obama is under consideration would be a powerful step forward.
In March, prior to the South Carolina primary that saved his floundering campaign, Biden said, “I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a black woman on the Supreme Court, to make sure we, in fact, get every representation.”
As noted by Fox News, only five black women currently serve on federal appeals courts and all are 68 or older.
“From a sheer numbers perspective, he’s going to have to look outside those currently serving on the bench,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of the progressive group Demand Justice.
“It’s somewhat embarrassing that there aren’t more people on the federal courts right now that are black women who’d be natural to put on his shortlist.”
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