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Biden Loses More Ground With Voters With a Bigoted Approach to the Open SCOTUS Seat

The oh-so-normal photo ops of President Joe Biden gnawing on a waffle cone have lost their appeal. Polls show consistently that the president’s approval among independents is cratering. Biden’s net approval has declined from -2 on Inauguration Day to -30 rolling into February. It hit -20 on Sept. 21, 2021, and has only gotten worse since. A new ABC/Ipsos poll shows Biden’s commitment to pick a Supreme Court justice based primarily on race and gender is another position Americans disagree with.

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With the retirement announcement from Justice Stephen Breyer, President Biden reiterated his intention to appoint a new justice based on race and gender. During the Democratic primary, Biden committed to selecting a black woman if a seat opened. Reportedly, Biden made this promise at the behest of Representative James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to earn Clyburn’s endorsement in the South Carolina primary. Winning the state turned the tide for the Biden campaign.

Many in Biden’s team felt that pledging to nominate a black female in the South Carolina debate was not a good move. Recently Symone Sanders, a senior advisor on the Biden campaign, confirmed to Rachel Maddow that a story in a new book excerpt was correct. “The book is also true that some folks, myself included, did not want it to be seen as pandering to just throw it out there on a debate stage. For folks to stay that then-candidate Biden was just doing it to get votes of black voters.” As it turns out, that is precisely why he did it. Clyburn got his wish and turned out the black vote for Biden, reviving a primary campaign on life support.

As it turns out, three-quarters of Americans agree with Biden’s campaign advisors. ABC/Ipsos found 76% of Americans believe Biden should consider all possible nominees rather than “consider only nominees who are Black women.” There have been black members of the Supreme Court, as well as women. A large majority of Americans do not object to putting anyone in a position of responsibility so long as they believe the person is qualified.

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If Biden wanted to diversify perspectives on the Court, he would be better off looking for someone outside the Ivy league law review club, like Justice Amy Coney Barrett. He does not. If the president were honest, he would have said he is nominating a left-wing activist judge who happens to be a black woman. So the immutable characteristics of the individual are just pandering, while their political philosophy is paramount.

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Americans know this. About one-third of Americans believe the Court decides cases based on partisan politics rather than the law. This finding is a travesty since ABC found 67% of the Court’s opinions during the 2021 term were unanimous or near-unanimous, with just one justice dissenting. That was a significant increase from the two prior terms, despite President Trump nominating three justices to the Court. This finding indicates at least two-thirds of cases are well-grounded in the law.

The Court’s decisions on culture war issues that are better left to the states, like abortion and LBGTQ rights, have left an indelible mark that impairs its credibility. Placing a question mark over the new justice’s head that always allows their qualifications to be questioned will worsen this perception. It is the tragic unintended consequence of Affirmative Action in the broader context, and making race and gender the primary hurdle in consideration for a lifetime appointment is unconscionable.

The poll also found Biden underwater on nearly every other significant issue:

  • The President lost 18 points on the economic recovery, falling from 60% approval in March 2021 to 42% approval now.
  • 69% disapprove of Biden’s handling of gun violence and inflation.
  • 64% disapprove of his handling of crime and immigration.
  • Only 1 in 4 Americans describe the economy as excellent or good.
  • Biden’s approval on COVID-19 has fallen from almost 70% to 50% in the year since his inauguration.
  • A plurality, 38%, oppose sending U.S. troops to Eastern Europe to discourage Russian aggression.

All recent polls show similar trends, with independents swinging away from Biden and the Democrats on the generic ballot. It is not clear what will motivate a change in strategy for the administration other than the agenda coming to a screeching halt if both houses of Congress change hands. Their moves daily seem to be sitting up a red wave of historic proportions. The fact they do not seem to care should concern every American.

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