Why pledge to nominate Black woman to Supreme Court helped Joe Biden win presidency

The nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court offers hope and aspiration to generations, reports ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy


President Joe Biden’s pledge to ensure a black woman is nominated to the Supreme Court is delivery of a promise he made during his own campaign for the presidency.

In February 2020, as a presidential contender he was down in the polls, floundering in the primaries and facing the loss of the chance to lead the United States.

He needed all the help he could get and turned to his friend and former colleague Congressman James Clyburn ahead of the South Carolina primary. It was pretty much his last chance.

Clyburn told him two things: tighten up his answers and make nominating an African American woman to the Supreme Court his personal pledge. Biden agreed.

Jim Clyburn pledged support for Biden's presidential bid in exchange for a nomination of a black woman to the Supreme Court Credit: AP

Shortly after, in a national televised debate, Clyburn was in the audience waiting for the pledge. After an hour it still had not come.

In the break, Clyburn sought out Biden and reminded him of his promise. Not long after, in a clunky answer, he tagged the nomination pledge on the end and got Clyburn’s backing.

With that he went on to win South Carolina and resurrect his failing presidential bid.

Two years later he finally has the opportunity to deliver on the pledge which delivered him the presidency.


Brandi Colander, co-founder of the group She Will Rise, called it a "watershed moment for the judiciary"


Brandi Colander, the co-founder of the group She Will Rise - an initiative working to ensure a Black woman judge sits on the US Supreme Court, said this was a "historic moment".

She told ITV News: "One of the things that is really remarkable about President Biden's tenure, in only a year's time, is that he's actually advanced I believe 62 justices that were women and 19 of them were black.

"It's a watershed moment for the judiciary.

"I am really encouraged by this moment, we are absolutely expecting that he will make good," she added.

"It crosses party lines, there's just a need to represent America."