Fox News host Laura Ingraham rapped President Joe Biden for hypocrisy on Friday over his pledge to only nominate a black woman to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
Specifically, Ingraham recalled when Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, opposed, and then filibustered, the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown in 2003 and 2005, who was nominated by then-GOP President George W. Bush.
“Race and gender, they only count if you’re thought to be a committed judicial activist, judicial leftist,” Ingraham, herself a lawyer, noted during the segment.
“I’m thinking back on the nomination of what would’ve been another first, which is the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown. And she was filibustered by none other than Joe Biden,” Ingraham noted.
“So, this idea of appointing a black woman to the judiciary, he voted three times against confirming her just to be a U.S. circuit judge. I mean, this wasn’t even to the Supreme Court. So, race and gender, they only count if you’re thought to be a committed judicial activist, judicial leftist,” she said.
Then-President George W. Bush had nominated Brown both times for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but many Democrats tried to block her from the position for her perceived libertarian views.
Brown was born to Alabama sharecroppers and grew up in the segregated South. During her college years, Brown was a single mother with views so left-wing that she later said they were almost Maoist.
Her views grew decidedly more conservative over the years, and she has defended using electric stun guns on criminals who act inappropriately in courtrooms. Brown also wrote opinions that opposed affirmative action and supported a state law that required girls younger than 18 to notify their parents before getting an abortion.
Former President Barack Obama, then also a U.S. senator, also opposed the appointment of Brown.
“The test of a qualified judicial nominee is also not whether that person has their own political views. Every jurist surely does. The test is whether he or she can effectively subordinate their views in order to decide each case on the facts and the merits alone,” Obama said in 2005.
“That is what keeps our judiciary independent in America. That is what our Founders intended,” he added.
“Unfortunately, as has been stated repeatedly on this floor, in almost every legal decision that she has made and every political speech that she has given, Justice Brown has shown she is not simply a judge with very strong political views, she is a political activist who happens to be a judge,” he said.
Later, as president, Obama appointed two justices seen by most legal analysts as among the most left-leaning to ever sit on the high court: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, the latter of whom had never been a judge.