Stop Making Me Defend President Biden!

At this point, President Biden has no choice, ethically or practically, other than to keep his promise to nominate a black woman to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. By all means, he deserves criticism for making such a promise, but that was done quite a while ago, when he was in full pander mode during the 2020 Democratic Presidential primaries. Breaking a pledge is never ethical, unless conditions have changed sufficiently to make the keeping of the pledge materially different from what was anticipated at the time, or if keeping the promise would be illegal.

It is often forgotten that President Reagan pledged to nominate a woman to the Supreme Court, and many liberal pundits at the time predicted that he would renege on that promise. He didn’t. It was a different kind of pledge than Biden’s however. There was a fairly deep pool of qualified women to choose from particularly if he dipped into the group of qualified female lawyers and academics. The lack of any woman ever sitting on the Court since the 18th Century had become an embarrassment. It wasn’t a matter of making the Court “look like America,” it was whether the Court could credibly look like a gentleman’s club.

Nor is reneging on his promise politically feasible for Biden. Nominating a black female isn’t likely to win over many voters, but breaking the promise would probably lose him a lot of support: his is the party of “equity and diversity,” after all, as well as affirmative action. His approval ratings are terrible already. Realistically, Joe has no choice.

Which is not to say that having made such an unethical promise, Biden doesn’t deserve all the backlash from it he is taking. Nor does it justify calling those who correctly point out how adverse to the interests of the law, the government, justice and the nation that his unnecessary commitment is, “racist.”

But that’s what the Left is doing. Thus, I assume, the recent  ABC News/Ipsos poll showing that about three-quarters of Americans (76%) want Biden to consider “all possible nominees” will be taken as just one more indication of how racist Americans are. Professor Eugene Volokh has noted that Biden has limited himself to roughly 7% of the population for his choice, the equivalent of announcing that he would only nominate someone whose name begins with “D.” In fact, the pool is smaller even than that: less than 7% of judges and lawyers are black women.

Joining The Biden Supreme Court Pick Ethics Train Wreck, meanwhile, as was fully predictable, is Georgetown University Law Center’s Black Law Students Association, which is demanding that Ilya Shapiro, the director of constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, be fired from his brand new position at GULC for expressing an opinion that BALSA doesn’t like, and that 76% of the public agree with. We have become familiar with the tendency on the Left to silence the opposition in an argument rather than win the debate fairly.

One more point: limiting the choice of a new SCOTUS Justice by race and gender is worse that a President limiting his choice to judges who oppose Roe v. Wade, as Trump pledged to do, but not that much worse. Its still uses presumed bias to fill a position that should be as bias-free as possible. So-called “litmus tests” are unethical too.

8 thoughts on “Stop Making Me Defend President Biden!

  1. That’s us Americans. We’re an evil, racist nation built on the backs of slavery and at the expense of the indigenous population, populated by white men who only stop being racists when they are raping women, and policed by career racists who decided hunting animals wasn’t fun enough, so they signed up to hunt young men of color.

    There’s no redeeming this, but putting a liberal black woman on the SCOTUS is one step towards that redemption that can never be. How fortunate this evil, racist nation is to be led by someone like Joe, who will help it atone for the sins of 1492 onward, plus 500 years of interest. Now, if only the five racists and the one token uncle Tom would see the light and step aside, and those two obstructionists in the Senate would fall into line, we’d be in good shape. It’s just a matter of time, after all, the Republicans have only won the popular vote once out of the last seven elections, and they haven’t won boo in Washington state since they started voting exclusively by mail.

  2. Is it bias if a decision is indefensible? I know you aren’t completely in the pro-life camp, but the Roe v. Wade decision wasn’t based on constitutional analysis. And with today’s medicine and the availability of adoption and pregnancy crisis centers, there’s not really any reason for an abortion in most circumstances, even if you take the “reasons” the pro-choice side give at face value.

    I can’t afford a baby. Give it up for adoption then.

    I’m not mentally ready to be a parent. Give it up for adoption.

    I’m in an abusive relationship. For this one, as hard as it can be, you have to think about your child. Go to a relative’s or friends house. Just get out as fast as you can for your child’s sake, whatever that means.

    Some moral decisions are straight forward. The more challenging part is actually doing the right thing. Sometimes the right thing requires sacrifice. No one is entitled to a consequence free life.

  3. Wait, what?

    What’s the ethics calculus that promising to do something unethical binds someone to the unethical conduct?

    I believe promises are extremely sacred bonds. But there has to be a limit on what the promise is. I can’t steal a remote control car for my son if I promised him one and the only way to get it is by theft – let alone I can’t steal a remote control car if I promise him I *would* steal one!

    Choosing a Supreme Court Justice based on race and sex is an unethical act.

    • I agree, and I think the real point is that President Biden has painted himself into an Ethics Zugzwang situation where he no longer has any ethical option because both choices are unethical. And since he, as the saying goes, “made his bed” . . . .


      P.S. I’m quite proud of myself for correctly spelling Zugzwang on the first try, even though I did look it up to make sure (because I wasn’t sure) before clicking Post Comment.

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