Joe Biden will almost certainly appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court. Given Biden’s dwindling support among black voters, the conventional opinion suggests that the SCOTUS nomination will most likely help. Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement could not have arrived at a better moment for Biden.
According to the hype that will accompany the decision, whatever he selects will be the second coming of Joan of Arc or some other precedent-shattering person. But the question is, will electing a black woman help people forget about the previous year’s chaos and ineptness?
A Supreme Court nomination will overshadow everything else on Capitol Hill. A judicial discussion, particularly one regarding abortion, can do this. Need to relieve some of the pressure on Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema? A legal dispute may be just what the doctor ordered. Would you like to give the “Build Back Better” talks some breathing room?
Moreover, with President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court pick, there will be no “abortion discussion.” The nominee is expected to be pro-abortion, and Republicans understand that nominating a pro-choice candidate will shift the political landscape. There might be additional reasons why a conservative majority wouldn’t overturn Roe, but that’s a legal dispute, not a political one. The law is dead when it arrives on Capitol Hill, but the debate about how to bury it is just over where it will be buried.
According to Blackman, a law professor and legal specialist with the Conservative Federalist Society, the stakes aren’t relatively as high on the left or the right as they are in the campaign to replace the late Justice Ginsburg. “It just feels like it’s a game of how many political points they can get,” Blackman remarked. And although it may increase his poll ratings slightly, any long-term advantage is out of his reach.