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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to charges of “reverse racism” and “virtue signaling” over President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
MS. EPSTEIN: Just to put a little bit of a finer point on what you just got to at the end of that —
MS. PSAKI: Yeah.
MS. EPSTEIN: — you know there have already been conservatives, commentators talking a bit about why a Black woman that’s — to commit to that is reverse racism or some kind of signaling — a virtue — virtue signaling or something like that. What do you say to people who are saying that that is, you know, an inappropriate way to set out prerequisites for who he’s going to choose?
MS. PSAKI: Well, first, we’d say that the fact that no Black woman has been nominated shows a deficiency of the past selection processes, not a lack of qualified candidates to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
I’d also note — I’ve heard that some conservatives may be fans of President Reagan, and when he — former President Reagan. And when he nominated Sandra Day O’Connor he said, quote, “Judge O’Connor’s confirmation symbolizes the richness of opportunity that still abides in America — opportunity that permits persons of any sex, age, or [any] race, from every section and every walk of life to aspire and achieve in a manner never before even dreamed about in human history.”
I’d also note, if you look at the President’s own record, not only has he nominated the most — the highest number of Black women to serve on the circuit court and the appellate court, but he has also nominated, across the board, the highest level of Ivy League nominees, right? He has — he has qual- — he has nominated a broad sway of extremely qualified, experienced, and credential nominees — credentialed nominees, and done that by also making them incredibly diverse.
And so the President’s view is that it is long past time to have a Black woman on the Supreme Court, and that it, again, reflects challenges or deficiencies in the past processes.
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