The Congressional Black Caucus have long been some of President Barack Obama‘s staunchest supporters on Capitol Hill — but not anymore.
The African-American lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of African-American judicial nominees put forward by the president.
This week they plan to hold a press conference calling attention to the “appalling lack of African-American representation” in heavily black-populated states like Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
“We have very grave concerns [with certain nominees] given disparities that are particularly common in the South,” Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Hill.
Georgia in particular has been contentious because issues like voter ID and whether or not to allow displays of the Confederate flag have come before the courts there.
President Obama had nominated an African-American woman, Atlanta attorney Natasha Silas, to the federal bench in Georgia in early 2011 but her nomination was blocked by Republicans.
The black population in Georgia is 31 percent, well above the national average.
“They have the right to nominate someone,” Rep. John Lewis of Georgia said. “But black women in Georgia hold a higher [voting] percentage than any group – higher than white women, higher than white men, higher than black men. And there’s a lot of Democratic [black] women – members of the bar – that are very, very good. And they should have been taken into consideration.”