Considering that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been in politics for nearly half a century, he should know better than to go off-script.
While supporting President Joe Biden’s pledge for the next Supreme Court nominee to be chosen based solely on the qualifications of being both black and a woman, the New York Democrat incorrectly asserted that previous judges were “all white men” until 1981.
“The president’s pledge to name a black woman to the Supreme Court is historic,” Schumer said Thursday from the Senate floor, appearing to be reading from prepared remarks.
“There have been 115 justices who have sat on the court since 1789,” he continued.
“Only five of them have ever been women. None until 1981,” Schumer noted, referring to former President Ronald Reagan’s appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor that year.
“Only two have been African-American, but never, never has there been an African-American woman,” the majority leader said, adding that black women “still make up barely 6 percent of the federal judiciary.”
Looking up from the lectern, Schumer seemed to ad-lib as he elaborated, “And amazing, until 1981, this powerful body, the Supreme Court, was all white men.”
“Imagine. America wasn’t all white men in 1981, or ever,” he said, looking out at his colleagues before appearing to go back to his notes.
“Under President Biden and this Senate majority, we’re taking historic steps to make the courts look more like the country they serve,” the majority leader said.
.@SenSchumer: “Until 1981, this powerful body, the Supreme Court, was all White men. Imagine. America wasn’t all White men in 1981, or ever. Under President Biden and this Senate majority, we’re taking historic steps to make the courts look more like the country they serve.” pic.twitter.com/PrEjoLrmPH
— The Hill (@thehill) February 3, 2022
It seems that in his zeal to smear the high court for its systemic racism, Schumer forgot that Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the first black justice, Thurgood Marshall, in 1967.
Marshall served until his retirement in 1991, when Justice Clarence Thomas took his place on the bench.
Schumer corrected the record later in a tweet, though he wouldn’t have gotten away with it regardless.
“Sorry that I misspoke earlier today. Of course, I remember the dedication and legal excellence that Thurgood Marshall brought to the Supreme Court,” he wrote Thursday.
Sorry that I misspoke earlier today. Of course, I remember the dedication and legal excellence that Thurgood Marshall brought to the Supreme Court.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 3, 2022
This oversight perhaps was an honest mistake made in the midst of off-the-cuff remarks, so it shouldn’t be a big deal — except that a Republican would have been crucified for such an oversight.
Leftist politicians and their talking-head accomplices in the establishment media would be outraged about the “erasure” of a black man’s legacy.
They would have leveled charges of white supremacy at a politician who wasn’t up to snuff on his history — and all of this during Black History Month!
Meanwhile, Cruz was roundly criticized for simply pointing out that Biden’s pledge was a racist and condescending way to find the next Supreme Court justice.
The senator contended “it’s actually an insult to black women” this week on his “Verdict with Ted Cruz” podcast.
“If he came and said, ‘I’m gonna put the best jurist on the court,’ and he looked at a number of people and he ended up nominating a black woman, he could credibly say, ‘OK, I’m nominating the person who’s most qualified.’ He’s not even pretending to say that,” Cruz pointed out.
“He’s saying, ‘If you’re a white guy, tough luck. If you’re a white woman, tough luck. You don’t qualify.'”
The senator is correct that Biden’s pledge is as exclusionary as it is insulting to his nominee — but Democrats are always given the benefit of the doubt and therefore have developed zero self-awareness when it comes to their own racism.
Schumer is a leftist and a Democrat, so he will not be verbally bludgeoned by the media or his colleagues in the Senate.
Nor will Biden be called out on his racism and sexism inherent in this pledge (for comparison, try imagining what would happen if the president claimed he would only be looking at white men for the job).
The majority leader will survive to pander another day, and the Democrats will all pat themselves on the back for being such noble progressives — all while some yet-to-be-named black woman is used as a prop in their charade.
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