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Congressional Black Caucus Not All That Thrilled With Obama Judicial Appointments

Yesterday, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett met with five members of the Black Caucus on the issue of judicial nominees.
Congressional Black Caucus Not All That Thrilled With Obama Judicial Appointments
Image from: House Democrats

Remember, these appointees were selected by Obama back when he needed Republican votes. The only reason they've gone through now is because of a random act by Ted Cruz. But one black judge in 33 years? Yeah, I can see why they'd be upset:

Jarrett met with Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) on judicial nominees.

Jarrett then met with a larger group of Black Caucus members on a myriad of issues, including an upcoming new initiative focused on Black males, at their weekly meeting.

Though several members, such as Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Del. Norton, said the meeting with Jarrett went well, Rep. David Scott and other members of the Georgia delegation were not happy.

The President’s nomination of an attorney who was the lead counsel in Georgia’s voter ID case remains a concern.“Do you think that George Bush would have been able to do this — or any white President — would have been able to do this? No,” Rep. Scott said intensely regarding that particular nominee.

”It is on us. It’s not just about Obama who made these decisions. He’s gone in three years. These folks are gonna be there forever. And they will know that it was a Black man that put him on there with this kind of heavy baggage,” the Georgia Democrat added.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) who was also in the five-member meeting with Jarrett, said, “We’re glad that the President has a commitment to diversity, and it would be natural that he have that commitment. But, there are some other issues that we’ve got to be concerned about. And some of our members from the South would lose their credibility with their constituents if they did not rise up and say, ‘This person goes beyond any kind of acceptable code.’”

A January 16 letter sent to President Obama and signed by 41 member of the Black Caucus urged diversity on federal nominees. It also expressed concerns that a deal might be made on judges in Alabama that was similar to the deal made in Georgia. The letter also called for a refrain from selecting white nominees until the percentage of Black nominees moves closer to the state of Alabama’s Black population, which is 26%.


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A sentence from the letter, primarily authored by Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama, read:

Given the history of judicial appointments in Alabama, we strongly encourage you to nominate qualified African Americans to the district court bench until the court’s racial composition reasonably reflects the state’s black population… In the 33 years … there have been 26 judicial appointments in the state and only one was African American.”

After the larger CBC meeting with Jarrett, Rep. Sewell would not talk on whether her concerns were addressed.

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