Biden's Possible SCOTUS Nomination Has a Curious Past, and Curious Advocates

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

Fulfilling Joe Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black female to the Supreme Court, the White House confirmed that Judge J. Michelle Childs is on Biden’s list for consideration.


From The Hill:

The White House confirmed to The Washington Post on Friday that J. Michelle Childs, a federal district judge in South Carolina, is one of several candidates whom the president is considering to be his nominee to the Supreme Court.

The South Carolina judge is “among multiple individuals under consideration for the Supreme Court,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told the newspaper.

Not if So. Carolina Rep. James Clyburn (D-Old Coot) has anything to say about it. Apparently the man who rejected Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Socialist Scourge), and single-handedly secured Dementia Joe’s presidential run, is calling in his chits.

From the Leftist-leaning American Prospect:

But a third candidate has been gaining in the speculative fervor: South Carolina District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs. Her biggest enthusiast is home-state Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the highest-ranking Black leader in Congress and a close adviser to Biden. In fact, Clyburn was the one who got Biden to make the Supreme Court pledge.

Clyburn has been whipping support for Childs with an enthusiasm far beyond that which he dedicated to Democrats’ police reform bill or the Build Back Better Act. In just a few short days, he has hit a number of news networks to advocate for her appointment. “She has the experience that is needed,” he said on MSNBC, a dig at Jackson, who has been criticized in the early goings as underqualified for the post.

Elsewhere, Clyburn has made explicit what CNN has argued implicitly when the network lamented that “another testy Supreme Court battle is the last thing America needs.” Answering this call for Democrats to hone their pick to Republican preference, Clyburn has put forward Childs as a bipartisan answer. “I want to make sure that it’s a woman that will get universal support. When I say universal, I mean bipartisan support,” he said Wednesday on CNN. “I know that Michelle Childs will have the support of several Republicans.” One of them, South Carolina’s own Lindsey Graham, appeared to endorse Childs over the weekend.


Well isn’t that something? And she already has bipartisan support. Since Graham is on the Judiciary Committee, if Clyburn has his way, you know that Graham will seal the deal with the rest of his Republican members.

He’s malleable that way.

But the writer at the Prospect does quite the deep dive into Judge Childs’ background when she was a practicing attorney.

Childs’s experience is worth scrutinizing closely.

This is extremely curious. If Democrats and progressives are not championing her past, then she doesn’t check all the important boxes. Posts on Reddit and Democrat Underground are apoplectic, and Redditors are quite hilarious:

Why don’t they just nominate Beyonce? She is much younger than any of these other candidates and would thus be a secure seat on the court for longer.

He’s [Clyburn] so unapologetic in his greed and disdain for the working class, I‘m surprised he hasn’t already proposed droning homeless people.

The crowd over at Dem Underground is a bit more measured, but highly concerned that Lindsay Graham is all in for this nominee.

Both sites often pull this paragraph from the Prospect piece to add to their anxiety.

As a lawyer, Childs served as an associate and then partner at Nexsen Pruet Jacobs & Pollard, from 1992 to 2000. At Nexsen Pruet, Childs worked primarily in labor and employment law, principally working on behalf of employers against allegations of racial discrimination, civil rights violations, and unionization drives.


Yeah, can’t have a justice that worked at a firm that targeted issues that are their cottage industries. But the bad news continue:

Bloomberg Law has 25 cases registered in which Childs participated during her time at the firm; 23 of those involve alleged employment discrimination or other employment-related civil rights violations. Race and gender were common factors in such suits; seven such cases entailed race-based job discrimination, and another three involved sex-based job discrimination. In all but two registered instances, Childs was not representing the plaintiff but the defendant, meaning that she overwhelmingly represented employers accused of violating civil rights and gender discrimination laws in the workplace.

In other words, Childs did her job. As a woman who became the first Black partner in a South Carolina firm, she obviously did it well. Of course, if she was representing the defendants, rather than the plaintiffs in these suits, these progressives would be singing her praises to the rafters; instead, they are raising alarm bells.

They’re starting to act like Republicans. And of course, the fact that the firm where Childs was partner is staunchly anti-union is enough to bring out the fainting couches.

Meanwhile, Nexsen Pruet, where Childs was a partner, has for years boasted of its anti-union services, advertising to firms hoping to keep their workplace “union-free,” “offer[ing] strength in unfair labor practice and union representation issues,” and warning against the impacts of the PRO Act, Democrats’ signature unionization bill that was included in the Build Back Better Act.


Oooh… They are stepping on the third rail with this one. Not to mention, Biden still wholeheartedly endorses the PRO Act and the nomination of David Weil as wage and hour administrator reflects his fealty to Big Labor and its goals. Childs as SCOTUS seems like a reverse action for this administration; but, schizophrenia on top of the apparent cognitive landmines really is right on brand.

Bloomberg Law does mention one decision that Judge Childs made that the progressives could get behind:

Her noteworthy decisions as a federal district judge include a 2014 case in which she ruled in favor of a lesbian couple who sued to have South Carolina recognize their out-of-state marriage.

Should Clyburn and Graham get their way, and Childs ascends as Biden’s choice for SCOTUS nominee, we may well see a food fight between the legacy and progressive members of the party.

Lord, I hope so! Getting the popcorn ready, just in case.


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