Biden’s Previous Obstruction of Black Female Judicial Candidate

Conservative politicians and political observers have resurrected President Biden’s earlier filibusters against black women presented for the United States Court of Appeals, following his commitment to naming the first black woman to the Supreme Court.

Sins of Biden’s Past

During the tenure of former President George W. Bush, then-Sen. Joe Biden repeatedly challenged and filibustered Janice Rogers Brown’s candidacy to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003 and 2005. 

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, recalling the president’s prior decision.


Biden, who has grown more skeptical of the Senate filibuster rule in recent years and characterized it as a legacy of Jim Crow segregation laws, was hardly the only senator to reject Brown’s candidacy at the time.

In 2005, then-Sen. Barack Obama spoke against Brown, stating she “is not merely a judge with strong political opinions; she is an activist who happens to be a judge.”

Brown was born into a sharecropping family in Alabama. She grew up in the segregated South, eventually raising her child as a single mother, while attending law school.

Her views changed toward more conservative beliefs over time. She was notable for opposing discrimination and advocating for abortion restrictions.

Per the Washington Post, Bush contemplated picking Brown to replace Sandra Day O’Connor when she retired in 2005, but picked Samuel Alito instead.

John Roberts Jr., Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and the deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg rose to the Supreme Court from the D.C. Circuit, where Brown sat.

Other Filibusters by Democrats

Democrats also stonewalled Bush’s 2001 appointment of Miguel Estrada to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Estrada could have become the first Latino elected to that bench as a favored choice among conservatives. However, he withdrew his name from the nomination after being barred for two years.

Don’t ever forget what Democrats, particularly Joe Biden, did to Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and Miguel Estrada, Republican Rep. Chip Roy said on Jan. 26. 

Biden previously voted against George H.W. Bush’s nomination during the 1991 confirmation proceedings, expressing “regret” for his oversight of Anita Hill’s evidence accusing Thomas of sexual misconduct against her.

“I wish I could have done more. I contested Clarence Thomas’s appointment and voted against him,” Biden stated in March 2019 at an event.

Hill eventually endorsed Biden for president in 2020, despite “errors he made in the past,” she stated.

Per White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday, the Biden administration expressed its readiness to battle against Republicans opposed to the president’s future Supreme Court nominee.

Biden is “grateful to Republican senators who have already shown their willingness to engage with him,” Psaki said.

The White House confirmed only one of Biden’s potential nominees to replace outgoing Justice Breyer.

Officials stated that South Carolina Federal Judge J. Michelle Childs is being considered and the final list will include more than three names. Biden pledged to select a new justice by February’s end.