Of Course: MSNBC Leftist Legal Analyst on Biden’s SCOTUS Short List

On Friday, MSNBC eagerly touted how one of its own, left-wing legal analyst and NYU Law Professor Melissa Murray, was reportedly on President Biden’s short list for the Supreme Court. Interviewing Murray on his 11:00 a.m. ET hour show, anchor Craig Melvin tried to pump her for any information about being contacted by the White House.

“Melissa, our colleague Sahil Kapur is reporting that according to a source familiar with the White House process here, you are someone who’s also being considered for this Supreme Court seat. Have you heard from anyone in the administration or connected to it?,” Melvin asked one of the cable channel’s favorite leftist pundits.

Murray gave this glowing response:

If those rumors are true, it would be very flattering to be considered for such an important position of public service. But even more importantly, incredibly flattering to be considered in the company of those women, many of whom I’ve known for a long time and I admire a great deal. But I think it just goes to show that the reservoir of legal talent within this community is deep and it is amazing and incredible that the President has chosen to tap into it.

Melvin noted that she dodged his question: “That was a great answer. And while you are a colleague, I would point out you didn’t actually answer the question. Have you been contacted by the administration or anyone attached to it?” Murray clarified: “I haven’t been contacted by anyone.”

“And while we of course enjoy having you here at MSNBC, we love your analysis and your perspective, if someone were to call, would you take the call? Would you be interested in the job?,” Melvin wondered. Murray admitted: “I mean, obviously any lawyer would be interested in this job. This is the most important opportunity for a lawyer to serve her country in a really profound way.”

Melvin noted that Murray “clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is right now the only woman of color on the high court.”

Wrapping up the friendly exchange, Melvin urged Murray to advise Biden on the pick: “Professor, if you had the ear of the President, if you were advising him on this pick, of the aforementioned, who would Melissa Murray endorse?” Murray confessed that it was just too hard to choose because she was friends with all her fellow liberals on the short list:

All of these women are fantastic. I know many of them personally and I can’t choose. This is an abundance of riches, an embarrassment of riches, and it’s absolutely wonderful that the President has this kind of array of talent from which to choose.

Melvin concluded: “Alright, Melissa Murray, if you get a call from the White House, let us know, please. Thank you.” Murray quipped: “You’re not getting rid of me that quickly, Craig.” Melvin replied that MSNBC would happy to have one of its employees become a judicial pick for a Democratic administration: “Well, we hope not. But if we did, we would certainly lose you to the high court. We would take that.”

Of course none of Murray’s radical views, particularly on abortion, were ever brought up during the softball segment:

> In May of 2021, she decried the “anti-choice movement” and conservatives on the Supreme Court “skeptical of abortion rights.”

> In July, she warned of Republican voting reform laws being a “more subtle” version of “Jim Crow.”  

> In November, she compared abortion restrictions to laws that “banned interracial marriage.”

> In December, she feared that “Justice Clarence Thomas seemed to be signaling some concerns that we ought to be treating the fetus as a person for purposes of constitutional law” because such a determination would “criminalize abortion outright.”

When the Biden administration starts watching MSNBC to find the next Supreme Court justice, clearly any line that existed (if one ever did) between the news media and the Democratic Party has completely evaporated.  

Melvin’s easy job interview with Murray for the high court was brought to viewers by Progressive and Applebee’s. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.

Here is a full transcript of January 28 segment:

11:06 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Melissa, our colleague, Sahil Kapur is reporting that according to a source familiar with the White House process here, you are someone who’s also being considered for this Supreme Court seat. Have you heard from anyone in the administration or connected to it?

MELISSA MURRAY: If those rumors are true, it would be very flattering to be considered for such an important position of public service. But even more importantly, incredibly flattering to be considered in the company of those women, many of whom I’ve known for a long time and I admire a great deal. But I think it just goes to show that the reservoir of legal talent within this community is deep and it is amazing and incredible that the President has chosen to tap into it.

MELVIN: That was a great answer. And while you are a colleague, I would point out you didn’t actually answer the question. Have you been contacted by the administration or anyone attached to it?

MURRAY: I haven’t been contacted by anyone. But, like I said, the reservoir of talent within the community of black women lawyers is enormous. This is a group that has been overlooked and under-represented in all facets of the legal profession for many years and so I’m absolutely delighted that everyone is getting a close look.

MELVIN: And while we of course enjoy having you here at MSNBC, we love your analysis and your perspective, if someone were to call, would you take the call? Would you be interested in the job?

MURRAY: This is – I mean, obviously any lawyer would be interested in this job. This is the most important opportunity for a lawyer to serve her country in a really profound way. And it’s amazing that President Biden has taken this pledge to nominate a black woman seriously. We have not been represented at this level of the federal judiciary. We haven’t been represented in the ways that perhaps we should at all levels of the federal judiciary, and the Biden administration has worked assiduously to change that. So I think this is part of a larger process and it is one that I think is overdue.

MELVIN: You of course clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is right now the only woman of color on the high court. Race notwithstanding there have been some who have suggested that in addition to having gender diversity, racial diversity, geographic diversity would be nice or diversity of thought that is a result of not going or having gone to an Ivy League school. What would you say to that?

MURRAY: I think diversity in the legal profession is vast and it should be represented in the federal judiciary and I think we’ve seen that in President Biden’s picks for the lower federal courts. And I do think that it’s important that the Supreme Court not be mired in a kind of homogeneity. It should be the case that the Supreme Court reflects the geographic diversity of the United States and the experiences that many Americans have. And of course, many Americans don’t go to Ivy League schools.

So I am delighted that some of the people being floated here include Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court Leondra Kruger, who would bring state court experience, which we haven’t have since David Souter and Sandra Day O’Connor, as well as her geographic ties to California.

J. Michelle Childs was educated at the University of South Florida and the University of South Carolina Law School, that would bring a different kind of educational background. Currently only Amy Coney Barrett is the only justice on the Court who has been educated outside of the Ivy League.

There’s also Sherrilyn Ifill, who brings a huge career in civil rights. We haven’t had a civil rights lawyer on the Court since Justice Ginsburg and Justice Thurgood Marshall. And of course Sherrilyn helms the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the same group that Thurgood Marshall headed when he litigated landmark cases like Brown vs. Board of Education before this Court.   

MELVIN: Professor, if you had the ear of the President, if you were advising him on this pick, of the aforementioned, who would Melissa Murray endorse?

MURRAY: All of these women are fantastic. I know many of them personally and I can’t choose. This is an abundance of riches, an embarrassment of riches, and it’s absolutely wonderful that the President has this kind of array of talent from which to choose.

MELVIN: Alright, Melissa Murray, if you get a call from the White House, let us know, please. Thank you.

MURRAY: You’re not getting rid of me that quickly, Craig.

MELVIN: I – well, we hope not. But if we did, we would certainly lose you to the high court. We would take that. Thank you, have a great weekend my friend.

MURRAY: Thank you. 

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