Black Female Judge Defends GOP's Blackburn From NAACP's Racism Charge

Biden admin passed up judge for federal court seat

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) / Getty Images
January 14, 2022

Liberals attacked a Republican senator as racist for her opposition to a black man nominated to the federal court. But her opposition likely had nothing to do with race, given her pick for the judicial seat is a black woman.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) in July recommended Camille McMullen, an accomplished black judge who has served on a Memphis bench since 2008, for a seat on the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Tennessee. Months later, the White House instead opted to nominate a Andre Mathis, a Memphis attorney who has not served as a judge in his career.

Blackburn criticized the Biden administration for the pick, calling it "insulting" that the White House did not consult Tennessee senators prior to the nomination. She went on to oppose Mathis's confirmation during a Wednesday Judiciary Committee hearing by expressing "serious concern" with his lack of experience and his criminal record—the attorney drove on a suspended license on three different occasions following traffic violations that he failed to address.

Liberal media outlets used Blackburn's remarks to portray the Republican as racist. Former NAACP president Cornell William Brooks, for example, appeared on CNN to accuse her of "demeaning a black man."

As Blackburn's critics piled on, McMullen took to Facebook to defend the Republican and praise her support for "African-American women in the judiciary."

"Tennessee. I feel the need to comment. I'm a judge. Not a politician. Whatever your politics may be, I thank Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty for submitting my name to the Biden administration," McMullen said in a Wednesday Facebook post. "Senator Blackburn, many do not know, but I need to acknowledge publicly your appreciation of diversity in the judiciary, specifically African-American women in the judiciary. For this, I thank you."

McMullen also defended Blackburn on Twitter, saying that while she is a "lifelong Democrat," "we do not need to destroy the judicial branch." A GOP Senate aide admonished media outlets for failing to cover McMullen's praise of Blackburn.

"The alternative nominee put forth was a Democrat woman of color, but the establishment media does not care," the aide said.

Mathis now awaits a committee vote to advance his nomination following Wednesday's hearing.