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Schumer Falsely Claims SCOTUS Was Made Up of 'All White Men' Until 1981

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) mistakenly claimed that the Supreme Court was compromised of “all white men” until 1981.

During a floor speech on Thursday, Schumer said, “The president’s pledge to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court is historic. There have been 115 justices who have sat on the court since 1789. Only five of them have ever been women, none until 1981. Only two have been African American. But never, never has there been an African American woman.”

“Until 1981, this powerful body, the Supreme Court, was all white men. Imagine. America wasn’t all white men in 1981, or ever. Under President Biden and this Senate majority, we’re taking historic steps to make the courts look more like the country they serve,” he added.

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However, Schumer’s timeline is off by roughly 15 years.

In 1967, Thurgood Marshall made history as the first Black justice appointed to the Supreme Court. President Lyndon Johnson said of his nomination that it was “the right thing to do, the right time to do it, and the right man and the right place.”

The year 1981 did see the historic confirmation of the first female Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor.

Schumer’s comments come in the wake of Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement that he plans to retire at the end of the court’s current term later this year.

President Joe Biden has promised to make history by appointing the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

“I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency. While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity,” he said on Jan. 27.

He added, “That person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue, in my opinion. I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment.”

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