Ketanji Brown Jackson made a promise in her Supreme Court confirmation hearing this week before the Senate.
KBJ is the person whom biologist Joe Biden assures us is “a black woman” in accordance with his earlier promise to nominate a person of that sex and color as a great act of noblesse oblige for which he, as a non-black non-woman, we think, should be honored in history, especially in view of his dementia. Surely he’ll now join Barack Obama, Al Gore and Yassar Arafat in receiving a Nobel Peace Prize. I wonder if he’ll deposit the check into that joint checking account he shares with Hunter.
We have to take Joe’s word for KBJ’s sex and color. Since she’s not a biologist, KBJ herself is unable to confirm that she’s a woman and it’s not clear whether she’s able to confirm that she’s black.
KBJ’s promise was that if confirmed, as appears likely, she will recuse herself from the pending case where Harvard is being sued for discriminating in their admissions process against people who are not in her demographic of black women – specifically Asian men and women who tend to have great grades and admission test scores.
For the record, Harvard’s defense to that suit is that they discriminate against Asians not because they’re Asian, but because Asians have bad personalities. The Obama-appointed non-Asian trial court judge agreed that Asians have bad personalities and so did the non-Asian appeals court in Boston, and those judges are all real smart people with sparkling personalities.
Three billion non-non-Asians could not be reached for comment on the personality of Asians. I’m guessing that if asked whether it’s true that Asians have bad personalities, they’d probably just prove the point, and in a surly way accompanied by hand gestures.
KBJ’s promise to recuse herself is because she’s a member of a Harvard governing body with the vaguely ominous name “The Board of Overseers.” Harvard’s website informs us that this board established in 1642 (not 1619?) is “one of Harvard’s two governing boards … also known as the Corporation.” (But wait, I thought corporations are bad!)
I suspect they have a secret handshake, among other secret things.
As one of “The Overseers” in “The “Corporation” which presumably signed off on Harvard’s discrimination against Asians, KBJ would have a direct conflict of interest in deciding the case challenging that. Hence her commitment to recuse herself from that case.
If you’re impressed with KBJ’s commitment to recuse herself due to a conflict of interest, don’t be. There’s less here than meets the eye.
To overturn the trial court and appellate court, the Supreme Court would need a majority of the Justices participating in the decision. As mathematician Joe Biden can figure, a majority in the usual nine-person Supreme Court is five or more. This means that to overturn the appellate decision at least five Justices would have to rule against Harvard (and I think they will).
If KBJ recuses herself, then the number of participating Justices is no longer nine, but eight. But to overturn the trial court and the Boston appellate court, the Supreme Court would still need five Justices siding against Harvard.
That’s because when a Supreme Court decision is a tie, as could happen if KBJ recuses herself to reduce the number of Justices from nine to eight, the winner is deemed the winner in the appellate court – Harvard in this case.
Two scenarios present. If KBJ participates in the case, the three liberals (the existing two plus KBJ) will need to pick up two conservative votes in order for Harvard to win a 5-4 decision. If KBJ does not participate, then the liberals are down to two, but they still need to pick up only two conservative votes in order for Harvard to win a 4-4 decision.
KBJ’s recusal is therefore entirely inconsequential. Her participation or non-participation will not affect the outcome of the case.
It will be interesting to see if she ever recuses herself from a Harvard case where her vote matters.
By the way, Justice Clarence Thomas was released from a week in the hospital yesterday. Say a prayer for him even though he is indisputably not a woman – and I dare you to contradict him on that – and, according to ethnographers on the left, is not black either.