Flashback: Here’s How Long Dems Including Biden Used 'Jim Crow Relic' to Stall Janice Rogers Brown

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File

We previously reported on how some prominent Democrats have noted how eager they were to see Republican Senators go on record in a midterm election year opposing the confirmation of President Biden’s eventual Supreme Court nominee, who Biden made clear Thursday would be a black woman.


For example, longtime Clintonista and CNN analyst Joe Lockhart tweeted that he was looking “forward to watching every Republican Senator oppose the first black woman to the Supreme Court” before the midterms.

If confirmed, Biden’s nominee would be the first black woman ever to sit on the nation’s highest court, which Democrats would consider a big feather in their “woke” cap.

But an interesting tidbit of information that has largely been left out of all of this is how all the left’s talk of abolishing the filibuster in recent months and their salivating over the GOP “opposing a black woman” to a higher court has come full circle.


Let’s take a trip back in time and recall the lengths the Democrats in the Senate at the time – including Joe Biden – went to stall then-President George W. Bush’s nomination of Janice Rogers Brown, who is black, to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

For two years, Democrats led by Biden used what they now refer to as a “Jim Crow relic” to stall her confirmation to what some have referred to as the second-highest court in the country behind the SCOTUS.

Democrats were, of course, terrified over the fact that Brown was not just considered a conservative jurist but also that she had strong libertarian leanings. But as in all things that involve race, Democrats were also opposed to her nomination because it went all kinds of against their portrayal of Bush and Republicans as “racists.”


So they filibustered with wild abandon, and not just against Brown’s nomination. Democrats at the time were strongly opposed to dozens of Bush’s nominees and used the filibuster to stop them, prompting Bush to have to renominate some of them at a later point. They used the filibuster so often that Republicans began talking about using the “nuclear option” (basically nullifying the use of the filibuster on judicial nominations) to get around them.

Some of the flashback clips we’ve seen of Senators like Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden passionately arguing against changing the Senate’s filibuster rules were from speeches made during this time frame. But perhaps none is so relevant to what’s going on today than the below clip of then-Sen. Joe Biden, invoking former KKK member turned Sen. Robert Byrd (D) in his defense of using the filibuster to continue to stall Janice Rogers Brown’s nomination.

Here’s Sen. Biden, from May 23, 2005:

Mr. President, my friends and colleagues, I’ve not been here as long as Senator Byrd, and no one fully understands the Senate as well as Senator Byrd, but I’ve been here for over three decades.

I think this is the single-most significant vote any one of us will cast in my 32 years in the Senate, and I suspect the senator would agree with that.


The American people will soon learn that Justice Janice Rogers Brown, one of the nominees that we are not allowing to be passed, one of the ostensible reasons for this nuclear option being employed has decried the Supreme Court’s – quote – “socialist revolution of 1930.”

Read: Social Security. Read what they say. Read what they mean. The very year that a five to four Court upheld the constitutional – the constitutionality of Social Security against a strong challenge – 1937, Social Security almost failed by one vote. It was challenged in the Supreme Court as being confiscatory. People argued then that a government has no right to demand that everyone pay into the system, no right to demand that every employer pay into the system. Some of you may agree with that. It’s a legitimate argument. But one rejected by the Supreme Court in 1937 that Janice Rogers Brown refers to as the “socialist revolution” of 1937.



Though Brown was eventually confirmed as part of a bipartisan deal, Biden still voted against her. I have no doubt that Cocaine Mitch is waiting in the wings, eager to use Joe Biden’s own words against him as soon as Biden plays the race card regarding his eventual nominee. Maybe there will be some Bidenesque comparisons to Bull Connor and George Wallace thrown into the mix? One can only hope.

And his words against Brown won’t be the only ones McConnell will have on hand to reference. McConnell, like the rest of us, also vividly remembers how Joe Biden was the architect behind the modern-day vicious smear campaigns against GOP Supreme Court nominees. We saw it with Robert Bork and also Clarence Thomas, who made it to the Supreme Court despite racially-charged attacks against him made by Senate Democrats including Biden.

This is one of those “be careful what you wish for” things as far as Democrats are concerned. They are chomping at the bit to see Republicans oppose Biden’s pick, but they won’t like how Republicans throw the words of our nation’s fearless leader regarding Brown and Thomas back in his face when the time comes.


Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Your rules, Democrats. Your rules.

Related: All Eyes Turn to Manchin, Sinema After Breyer Retirement Announcement


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