MSNBC Hails Biden’s Judicial Nominees: ‘Not One of Them is a White Man’

MSNBC Congressional Correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell joined Hallie Jackson Reports and the namesake host on Wednesday to discuss President Biden’s first set of judicial nominees to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

According to Caldwell, “The Trump Administration really remade the federal judiciary appointing more than a quarter of judges, making the judiciary more white, more male, more conservative, and younger.”

But things are different now, “Now Democrats have their chance. President Biden has nominated 11 nominees. The judiciary committee is hearing the testimony of five of those nominees today and not one of them is a white man. They’re all women or people of color, including one who would be the first Muslim-American [Zahid Quraishi] on the court.”

While Trump’s nominees got an ideological label from Caldwell, Biden’s nominees were not identified as liberal or progressive, which may have been useful as Caldwell also noted, “there is one significant moment today as well, one of the people who is confirmed, Mrs. Ketanji Brown-Jackson she is…”

After Jackson interrupted to say “A name familiar to court watchers,” Caldwell continued, “Yes, and she’s to replace Merrick Garland on the D.C. Circuit and she is someone who people are talking about, Democrats around town, Democrats on Congress who would very likely be the nominee to replace perhaps the next Supreme Court opening, which could be Justice Breyer, which some Democrats say could come as early as this year, Hallie.”

Brown-Jackson has a history of being loved by the media, but several of her high profile rulings on the district court have been reversed by the D.C. Circuit, even by liberal judges. 

Jackson then asked a question with a seemingly obvious answer, “is there a sense they are trying to counter or are glad to see the White House counter what the previous administration had done. As folks know that was a huge talking point for Republicans even those who were not always fans of Donald Trump, at least they were getting judges they liked.”

Caldwell wrapped up the segment and the show by declaring that Democrats appear to be learning their lesson, “It has not always been a focus of Democrats and they saw the challenges and what happened when they don’t care about it and now they are focusing on it, Hallie.” 

This segment was sponsored by Allstate

Here is a transcript for the April 28 show:

MSNBC

Hallie Jackson Reports

10:58 AM ET

LEIGH ANN CALDWELL: Let’s take a step back first, Hallie. The Trump Administration really remade the federal judiciary appointing more than a quarter of judges, making the judiciary more white, more male, more conservative, and younger. Now Democrats have their chance. President Biden has nominated 11 nominees. The judiciary committee is hearing the testimony of five of those nominees today and not one of them is a white man. They’re all women or people of color, including one who would be the first Muslim-American on the court, but there is one significant moment today as well, one of the people who is confirmed, Mrs. Ketanji Brown-Jackson she is– 

HALLIE JACKSON: A name familiar to court watchers. 

CALDWELL: Yes, and she’s to replace Merrick Garland on the D.C. Circuit and she is someone who people are talking about, Democrats around town, Democrats on Congress who would very likely be the nominee to replace perhaps the next Supreme Court opening, which could be Justice Breyer, which some Democrats say could come as early as this year, Hallie. 

JACKSON: In the conversations with Democrats and your sources here on The Hill, Leigh Ann, is there a sense they are trying to counter or are glad to see the White House counter what the previous administration had done. As folks know that was a huge talking point for Republicans even those who were not always fans of Donald Trump, at least they were getting judges they liked. 

CALDWELL: Absolutely, that was a huge priority. Not necessarily for the president, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who wanted a conservative judiciary. It has not always been a focus of Democrats and they saw the challenges and what happened when they don’t care about it and now they are focusing on it, Hallie. 

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