by Eric J. Segall, Kathy and Lawrence Ashe Professor of Law, Georgia State University College of Law
In the last few weeks, five Trump nominees to the federal bench refused to say at their confirmation hearings whether they thought Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided. Of course, judicial nomination hearings have become thoroughly cynical affairs where most nominees refuse to comment on anything important. Nevertheless, all nine current Supreme Court Justices said they agreed with Brown, and the authors of an important book on judicial nominations said only a few years ago that no nominee could be confirmed without signaling assent to the decision that ended formal segregation. Yet, here we are with multiple nominees refusing to do exactly that. There was some media outcry, but not very much, and that absence reveals a lot about the state of race relations in America. We can’t even publicly agree that Brown was correctly decided?