Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Filibuster First Nomination Of A Black Woman To SCOTUS

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Filibuster First Nomination Of A Black Woman To SCOTUS No Nomination

Did Republicans nominate the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, only for her nomination to be blocked and filibustered by then-Sen. Joe Biden? No, that's not true: Janice Rogers Brown was only nominated for and confirmed as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Although her name was reportedly on a shortlist of nominees for the Supreme Court, she was not nominated.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on March 25, 2022. The post has a graphic with a picture of Brown that reads:

FRAUD: It was Republicans who nominated the 1st Black woman to the SCOTUS & she was BLOCKED and filibustered by... wait for it......Joe Biden.
Media: Crickets 🦗

The caption of the post says, "Facts matter."

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on March 28, 2022:

Screen Shot 2022-03-28 at 1.40.35 PM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Mar 28 17:40 2022 UTC)

In the early 2000s, Democrats, including Biden, rallied against then-President George Bush's nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Along with Bush's other nominations, Brown's nomination was staunchly opposed by Democrats, who filibustered her nomination for two years. However, following a vote to end the filibuster, Brown was confirmed to the Court of Appeals in 2005.

The Washington Post reported that Brown was on a shortlist as a nominee for an associate justice position in the Supreme Court. The spot opened following former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement announcement. However, Brown's reported addition to the shortlist was not met with enthusiasm by Democrats. Biden even said on the political talk show "Face the Nation" on July 3, 2005, that if Brown was nominated, her nomination would probably face a filibuster. Samuel Alito was ultimately confirmed as the associate justice who replaced O'Connor and still serves as an associate justice at the time of writing.

A list of previous Supreme Court justice nominees can be found here.

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