With his supremely safe and positively predictable choice of Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative white male, as his nominee to replace retiring Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump booted a platinum opportunity to be a disrupter of truly epic proportions.
Our divider-in-chief could have thought outside the box. He could have selected a jurist who could attract support beyond Trump’s dependable, adoring Deplorables. He could have sent a bat-signal of welcome to African American voters. But no.
The Supreme Court currently has five Catholics (Kennedy, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor), three Jews (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan), and one Protestant (Neil Gorsuch). If Trump were a strategic thinker, he could have created turmoil by asking: “Why do we have only one black justice?”
Can you imagine the chaos had Trump nominated an African American and a woman?
Someone like Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley.
She is the trifecta — a woman, a Democrat, an African American. Bonus: She co-stars in the long-running reality show, Meek Mill’s One Life to Live. We know Trump loves reality TV.
Yes, a Philly sister to join Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg. Another woman would make the high court 44 percent female, close to the 51 percent of women in the U.S. population. Women typically receive easy margins of approval from the male-dominated Senate.
Brinkley, 62, already had proven she takes no guff from the liberal elite, Jay-Z, and your Philadelphia 76ers. A law-and-order hardliner, she would have appealed to Trump’s conservative base. Locking up a black rapper would have been icing on the cake.
Would Trump’s base have bought it? Who knows? They seem incapable of independent judgment.
Does Brinkley have drawbacks? Yes.
- She’s a Democrat, but after being kicked around by liberals, she may be ready to turn to the dark side.
- Her law degree is from Temple, not Harvard or Yale. (To me, that’s an advantage.)
- Her own lawyer, Chuck Peruto, commenting on the Mill situation, was caught on tape saying, “She looks f–ing awful.” (He later denied saying it, “tape or no tape.”)
Peruto’s off-the-cuff (and off-the-record, he claims) remark is balanced by one from sexy rapper and former Mill squeeze Nicki Minaj, who said she “can’t badmouth her,” meaning the judge. Endorsements like that don’t fall from trees, and Trump flips for entertainers.
“I honestly didn’t believe her, and thought she was just a nutty actress,” Monahan told me. “She was excited to get the role, and when she arrived on set I wouldn’t say she was a diva, but had a certain air about her.”
In part due to her performance, Monahan says, the movie won several awards around the country. It was her only film role, according to the website IMDb.
Brinkley declined to discuss her brief movie career — or anything else — with me.
In November 2013, she won retention to the bench with 77 percent of the vote for a 10-year term. In other words, she’s “winning,” so she’s got that in common with Trump, who thinks he’s always winning.
Brinkley might have been the ideal candidate, but, you know, check the average age of the justices. Trump might have another shot at making her a Supreme.