Black women's groups said Wednesday they feel President Barack Obama jilted them by choosing someone other than a black woman as his newest nominee for the Supreme Court.
Obama chose federal appeals court Chief Judge Merrick Garland, a white man, to replace deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland is the third Supreme Court nominee of Obama's presidency.
"The fact that he would once again look over black women for this specific appointment is an absolute slap in the face to his top supporters," said Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women.
Minority voters have been the most devoted supporters of Obama's two presidential campaigns. Black women, in particular, had the highest turnout among all racial and ethnic groups in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, and they had hoped Obama would nominate a black woman to the high court.
Besides Garland, Obama's short list included federal appeals court judges Paul Watford, who is black, and Sri Srinivasan, who would have been the court's first Asian-American and the first Hindu.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama selected Garland "for one reason and one reason only, and that is simply that he believes that Chief Judge Garland is the best person in America to do that job."
But many may be disappointed Obama did not choose a "judge who can add to diversity on a court that still fails to represent the richness we see in our communities," said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.