Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will be going after President Obama because they believe that he has not done enough for minorities with regards to his judicial nominations. They claim that many of the president’s nominees promote policies that are racist.
The CBC lawmakers also assert that Obama has not made a significant effort to promote black judicial leadership on Capital Hill. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said there is an “appalling lack of African American representation” among Obama’s nominees.
According to the White House, 18 percent of Obama’s confirmed judges have been African American — this figure is relatively high compared to past presidents. 8 percent of George W. Bush’s confirmed judges were African American; Clinton’s rate was 16 percent.
But the CBC is not satisfied.
The Hill reported, “The president’s relationship with black lawmakers on Capitol Hill is more complicated that it sometimes appears. While the CBC’s underlying support for Obama has been unwavering, many have also expressed disappointment that he hasn’t fought harder for the liberal policy priorities that propelled him twice into the White House.”
The CBC is most upset about Obama’s nominations in Southern States like Florida and Georgia.
The group is particularly concerned about Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs, whom Obama named for the federal bench last month. While Boggs was a state legislator several years ago, he voted to keep the Confederate symbol on the Georgia state flag. Many in the CBC think that symbol is anti-black and represents hate.
Obama’s only African American judicial pick in Georgia was DeKalb County State Court Judge Eleanor Louise Ross. She “has raised the Democrats’ eyebrows for a different reason.” Rep. John Lewis of the CBC said of Ross, “I understand she’s a Republican.”
Lewis said Obama should have considered other black women for nominations in Georgia. He said, “Black women in Georgia hold a higher [voting] percentage than any group – higher than white women, higher than white men, higher than black men. And there’s a lot of Democratic [black] women – members of the bar – that are very, very good. And they should have been taken into consideration.”
The CBC plans to publicly express sharp disapproval of Obama’s appointments soon.
We will keep you up-to-date on this situation as news breaks.