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Politifact Swats Down Rightwing Claim That Bush Nominated First Black Female SCOTUS Justice

Politifact Swats Down Rightwing Claim That Bush Nominated First Black Female SCOTUS Justice
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images // The Federalist Society/YouTube

The United States Senate made history on Thursday when it voted 53-47 to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. Jackson will officially take the bench of the nation's highest court later this summer, when outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer begins his retirement. She will be the first Black woman Justice in the Court's 233 year history.

Jackson's confirmation period was marked with harsh, often incendiary questions from Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who falsely suggested that she was a Trojan horse for critical race theory and that she was softer in sentencing pedophiles than her colleagues.

Another talking point spewed by Republican elected officials and media personalities is that Judge Jackson wouldn't have been the first Black woman Justice if Senate Democrats hadn't blocked the nomination of Judge Janice Rogers Brown to the Supreme Court.

In reality, Judge Brown was never nominated to the Supreme Court. Though she was considered a possible nominee in the wake of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement in 2006 and then-Senator Joe Biden warned she would likely be filibustered, then-President George W. Bush nominated Justice John Roberts instead.

Shortly after, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist passed away, prompting Bush to adjust the appointment so that Roberts would replace Rehnquist instead of O'Connor. He then appointed White House counsel Harriet Miers, a white woman, who later abdicated her nomination amid criticisms that she was unqualified. He then appointed Judge Samuel Alito.

Amid viral social media posts falsely claiming Judge Brown was nominated by Bush to the Supreme Court and blocked by Democrats, fact-checking site Politifact shot this claim down in a recent tweet.

An article linked to the tweet points out that Democrats did filibuster Brown's earlier nomination to the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, though she was ultimately confirmed:

"Biden was among the 43 senators to vote against ending debate on Brown’s nomination, and that filibuster ultimately lasted for two years until a group of senators reached a bipartisan agreement that cleared the way for her confirmation. Biden again voted against ending debate on the nomination but the motion passed, and Brown was confirmed on June 8, 2005, with a vote of 56-43. Biden also voted against her nomination."

But as the saying goes, a lie can go all the way around the world before the truth has time to put on its shoes. This particular lie was parroted by the likes of Fox News host Jesse Watters, misrepresented by Senate Judiciary member Lindsey Graham, and multiple viral social media posts to boot.

But Twitter users were quick to share PolitiFact's correction.

Other apparently clairvoyant conservative tweeters insist Brown would've been nominated to the Supreme Court eventually if Biden and 42 other Senators hadn't filibustered her nomination to the D.C. Circuit.

Judge Jackson appeared with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris today in the White House lawn to discuss her confirmation.