Speed Reads

Replacing Justice Breyer

Conservative groups don't see a big fight over Justice Breyer's replacement. Fox News suggests otherwise.

Placing conservative justices on the Supreme Court has been a top-priority, decades-long project for the conservative movement. "But a survey on Wednesday of some of the top officials and activists in that universe indicates that they aren't planning a vicious political fight over President Joe Biden's pick to replace retiring Justice Steven Breyer," Politico reports.

Conservative judicial groups recognize that Democrats control the Senate and consider it a wash to replace Breyer with another liberal, Politico reports. Their "scorched-earth tactics secured the 6-3 conservative majority," NBC News' Sahil Kapur tweeted. "Letting liberals keep one of the three without a pitched battle would be a low-cost concession that doesn't disrupt the movement's big plans."

That may be the initial thinking at the Federalist Society and among key Senate Republicans, but Fox News seems to be gearing up for a big fight.

Biden said on the campaign trail he would be "honored to appoint the first African American woman" to the Supreme Court. And the three judges identified by aides and allies as frontrunners — U.S. Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Chiles, and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger — are all Black women. 

On the Fox News prime-time lineup, that's "affirmative action."

Considering only Black women is "identity politics," Tucker Carlson said. "The people it's designed to help are completely dehumanized and patronized, reduced to colors rather than human beings, and in some cases, the rest of us really crappy service, because the best people aren't being chosen."

Sean Hannity suggested it might be "unlawful" and "unconstitutional" to only consider judges of a certain race or gender. 

There's certainly precedent for promising you will pick a female justice — both former President Ronald Reagan and former President Donald Trump did

Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, took issue with the presumption that Biden would pick a reliable liberal for the seat.

"Adding a Black woman to the court would mean a series of firsts — four female justices and two Black justices serving at the same time on the nine-member court," The Associated Press reports. "Justice Clarence Thomas is the court's only Black justice and just the second ever, after Thurgood Marshall."

"Biden claims that his race-counting is essential so that the court and the rest of his administration 'looks like America,'" Carlson said Wednesday night. "Of all the lies that Joe Biden tells, this could be the easiest to check. We have the latest census numbers, and we can promise you with dead certainty that Joe Biden's nominees look nothing like America.'"