Minority leaders are calling on President Barack Obama to introduce more diversity into his administration, as he revamps his Cabinet for his second term. The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a joint coalition of 30 Latino groups, has issued a letter requesting that the president name three Latinos to his Cabinet from a list of 19 Latino politicians who the coalition believes are qualified. NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said that his organization wants Obama to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court.
“He still has several more appointments, and we expect that we’ll see at least the same diversity that we saw the first time around. What we’re hoping to see is a black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Jealous said to Politico at the BET inaugural gala. Obama chose a Latina judge, Sonia Sotomayor, to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by David Souter in 2009.
Obama is expected to have the opportunity to nominate at least one new candidate to replace aging judges Ruth Bader Gingsburg, Anthony Kennedy or Antonin Scalia, who are all over 75. Jealous suggested that California Attorney General Kamala Harris would be a prime candidate, having served as her state’s first African-American attorney general.
“Kamala Harris would be a brilliant pick. I personally would like to see somebody young who could stay on there for decades,” he told Politico. “If you look at what they did with [Justices] Antonin Scalia and with Clarence Thomas, we’re going to have these guys for decades. It’s time for us to [have that]. So yeah, she would be top. But there are several women who could do this job and do it well.”
The New York Times reported earlier this month on the seemingly all-male, majority white nature of the Obama Cabinet, but explained that almost half of the Obama appointees have been women. Though Obama may owe many of his votes to minority organizations, such overt recommendations have not garnered any response from the White House.