Veto a black judge

Judge J. Michelle Childs during her nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2010 (AP Photo/Charles...


Judge J. Michelle Childs during her nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2010 (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)


Photo:

Charles Dharapak/Associated Press

A funny thing happens on the way to President Biden’s first Supreme Court nomination. Opposition to one of the favorite black women comes from the left, not the right. What happened to diversity as progressives try to disqualify Judge J. Michelle Childs?

The media ran stories full of progressive criticism of Judge Childs, a South Carolina federal district court judge whom Biden appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. president obama appointed Judge Childs in the District Court bench and the Senate confirmed her by voice vote in 2010. Her confirmation hearing for the DC Circuit was postponed.

But now come the union interests complain in the Washington Post that Judge Childs is anti-worker. President Biden can “pass on a management advocate like Childs, who dismissively argued against workers’ rights,” said Sara Nelson, head of the Flight Attendants’ Association. Democratic Reps. Mondaire Jones and Andy Levin staged a letter from Congress to President Biden that doesn’t mention Justice Childs but says that “for too long the Supreme Court has been dominated by pro-business justices.”

Judge’s rap sheet is from having worked in private practice in South Carolina. It used to be considered rude to attack a lawyer for vigorously defending his clients – the heart of the profession – but now the left seems to think companies don’t even deserve to be represented. The unsubtle goal is to uplift only those who have spent their careers in government, academia, or promoting leftist causes.

The judge was the first black woman to be a partner at a major South Carolina law firm, so note that progressives ultimately care more about ideological conformity than diversity. The American Prospect devoted an article to Ms. Childs’ supposed ‘tough crime story’, and the worry is that she won’t carry out the left’s anti-cop agenda. Judge Childs’ father was a cop who died when she was a teenager.

The left appears to be coalescing behind Ketanji Brown Jackson, who worked as a federal public defender and is now on the DC circuit. Ms Brown served on the US Sentencing Commission and holds an Ivy League law degree that now tends to characterize Supreme Court nominees. Judge Childs went to the University of South Carolina.

South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham praised Justice Childs, whom the left seems to find enraged, despite having voted to confirm every judge nominated by Democratic presidents. But she is also the preferred choice of Rep. James Clyburn, who endorsed Mr. Biden at a crucial time before the South Carolina primary.

Judge Childs’ record on the bench deserves careful scrutiny. Many jurists have been oversold as moderates, and we think Ms Childs would largely be a reliable vote for the Court’s liberal bloc. But Mr. Biden could do worse for his presidency than have a candidate confirmed by a bipartisan vote.

Saving Supreme Court nominees is the left’s favorite pastime, and President Biden was an eager participant when he threatened to obstruct Janice Rogers Brown, a talented black legal scholar, in the early 2000s. progressives think they own the president and his agenda, and voters may soon have more proof that this is true if he lets them veto Justice Childs.

Potomac Watch: Affirmative action is coming to the Supreme Court, as Joe Biden narrows the criteria for replacing Justice Stephen Breyer to ‘the first black woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States’. Images: Pool/AP/Reuters Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the print edition of February 5, 2022.

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