“First Black Lesbian in Congress” – But Was She Appointed Merely to “Check a Box?”

Feinstein’s death left a California Senate seat open. Governor Newsom had made statements that he would assign the seat temporarily to a black woman. Newsom delivered on that promise with his pick. 

The Passing of a Senator

The passing of Senator Dianne Feinstein left a significant void in the California Senate, with the question of who would fill her seat.

It is Governor Newsom that the burden falls. He is charged with assigning a person to serve the remainder of Feinstein’s term.

Everyone recalled Governor Newsom’s statement that a black woman would fill any vacancy in the Senate.

His words to temporarily assign the seat to a black woman were closely watched, and he did indeed deliver on that pledge.

An Empty Seat

Newsom made it clear that he would not choose from the three candidates planning to run. Instead, many high-profile names were tossed around. Names like Oprah and Megan Markle, but Newsom’s final decision was seen as controversial by many Californians. 

Newsome announced Laphonza Butler as his choice to fill the empty seat left by Feinstein.

This decision was met with criticism from both sides, and it brought more questions than answers.

Newsome may have made good on delivering a black woman to the Senate, but his decision to pick a resident of Maryland for a California Senate seat made some question the motivations behind his decision.

Pro-Abortion Stance

His pick brought about speculations regarding her proximity to influential abortion lobbying groups that supported Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign.

Observers were left wondering if political factors played a significant role. Laphonza Butler’s die-hard commitment to the pro-abortion agenda has been evident.

Her endorsement of extreme abortion policies, including abortion until birth, showcased her stance on the issue.

Financial support from EMILY’s List, under Butler’s leadership, further reinforced her pro-choice stance, leaving Californians and the nation concerned about the lasting impact her service may have.

Mixed Reactions from Voters

Newsom’s nomination of Laphonza Butler had gotten some positive feedback; it had generated mixed reactions.

Some praised her historic representation as the “first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress,” others, especially pro-life groups, condemned the decision. 

Governor Newsom’s appointment ignited a heated debate in California politics. While some applaud her dedication to reproductive rights, others view her as a radical pro-abortion figure. 

His decision also received immediate pushback from a candidate who may have thought she would be his pick.

Choice Criticism 

One of the three Democratic candidates planning to run, Representative Barbara Lee, said, “I am troubled by the Governor’s remarks. The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election.” 

Rep. Barbara Lee assumed that Newsom’s promise would mean she, the only black woman among the three Democrats who have been planning to run in the next election, would be a natural choice. However, Newsom had other plans.

As Butler takes on her role in the Senate, the nation watches closely, eager to see how her pro-choice stance will shape legislative outcomes and the ongoing abortion rights battle.

She will serve as a fill-in member of the Senate until the election.

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