Reproaction: Obama Should Have Made a Progressive Pick

At a time when the Supreme Court is considering the most sweeping abortion access case in a generation, it’s untenable that President Obama would produce a nominee with unknown views on reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Every four years, abortion rights supporters are told to muffle any and all concerns in order to elect the Democratic nominee for president because the Supreme Court is at stake. Now the true nature of this toothless bargain has been revealed in the form of Judge Merrick Garland.

Judge Garland’s nomination takes place during the final Women’s History Month of Obama’s presidency. Three women serve on the Supreme Court today, and only one more has served in centuries of the institution. On March 16, 2016, there is no acceptable excuse why a Black woman has never been nominated.

As a white man with all the right credentials, Judge Garland represents the most privileged class of human in America — although it must be noted there are qualified, capable women of color with comparable credentials. Judge Garland’s nomination comes at a time when activists around the country are leading the struggle for not just abortion rights, but racial justice, justice for immigrants, and LGBTQ equality.

The nomination of the so-called moderate Judge Garland seems to be part of a political game designed to make Senate Republicans look bad, so that they are forced to make an about-face and vote, or obstruct someone they might have possibly liked to see on the Supreme Court. Let’s be clear: Just because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is acting like a toddler doesn’t mean President Obama has to respond like a sixth grader. Because of the gravity of issues facing the Supreme Court, President Obama could, and should, have made a clearly progressive pick.

Today is a sorry day for President Obama’s legacy toward women and girls.