Valerie Jarrett, the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss his decision to nominate Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.
Jarrett explained to Martin that Garland was the best choice to fill the vacant Supreme Court Justice seat because there is “nobody on the Federal bench with more experience, depth of experience than Chief Judge Garland.”
Jarrett explained that Merrick has been on the Federal Circuit Court bench for 19 years and has been the Chief Judge there for the last three years.
She continued to detail Judge Garland’s qualifications as a “consensus builder” who would have “immediate respect of his peers.” Jarrett also said Garland is “a person who understands the purpose of the Supreme Court, abides by the rule of law.”
Martin asked why Garland’s experience made such a difference in nominating him to the High Court, because President Obama’s last Supreme Court pick, Elena Kagan, “had none.”
Jarrett said, “The President felt that at this moment in time, given the Republican obstructionism that we’re seeing, it was important to have a candidate who by any possible metric is unassailable.”
Martin, who has been adamant about President Obama nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court, asked Jarrett why a Black woman was not nominated and reminded Jarrett of the support Mr. Obama has received from African-American women over the course of his tenure as president.
Prior to Jarrett’s response, Martin also expressed the disappointment many Black woman feel, saying, “This was an opportunity to make a historic appointment to the Supreme Court that also could’ve been even more legacy defining for President Barack Obama.”
Martin then asked, “What do you say to Black women who say they are extremely disappointed when they have had the President’s back in those very difficult times when he’s been attacked by many people?”
Jarrett said Obama thinks diversity is “important” for the court, “not because it is something that he owes politically, but because he believes diversity is a strength and we make better decisions when we have diversity. And that’s not just on the Court, that’s in his administration, it’s in his cabinet.”
She continued, “He believes it should be in the private sector, so let’s stipulate that he believes diversity is a strength.”
Watch Roland Martin and Valerie Jarrett’s entire conversation about President Obama’s decision to nominate Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court in the video clip above.
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