Microaggressions can 'kill you,' Biden judiciary nominee said in trainings

 February 27, 2023

President Joe Biden's judiciary nominee for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is a diversity trainer who has said during trainings that microaggressions can "kill you."

Maria Araujo Kahn currently sits on the Connecticut Supreme Court, where she complained in a 2020 opinion that current legal precedents permit "verbal assaults" on "oppressed groups."

She also led diversity trainings over the last decade where she used a video comparing microaggressions to mosquitoes.

"I felt threatened"

In the video, a mosquito-professor tells a dark-skinned college student to try a less-challenging major, then sucks him dry.

"Some mosquitoes carry truly threatening diseases that can mess up your life for years," a voice-over says. "And other mosquitos carry strains that can even kill you."

The video then depicts a mosquito with a gun in its hand, next to a dead body, which says to an officer, "I felt threatened. It looked like he was up to trouble, ok?"

Another part of the video shows a Black woman murdering mosquitoes with a flamethrower after they ask to touch her hair.

"Fighting words"

Kahn's view of the "fighting words" section of the First Amendment is controversial. Because she thinks some groups are less likely to fight back against insults, she contends that those groups have to "endure a higher level of offensive speech before being afforded legal remedies," she wrote in another opinion.

Kahn did not suggest any changes to the First Amendment to remedy this alleged problem, she just complained that bigots can "verbally assault certain oppressed groups"—especially women and the disabled—"without fear of criminal prosecution."

The Second Circuit covers New York state and sees a lot of free speech cases. Her view of free speech is progressive in nature, and other progressives suggested in at least one case that attorneys should need to prove that their words "didn't" trigger any bias in jurors, a negative that legal scholars said would be impossible to prove.

Will she be confirmed?

So far, Kahn has sailed through the confirmation process with little pushback, but the new revelations could be a problem for her in the final confirmation vote scheduled for next week.

With a 51-49 Senate, she could join a number of other extreme liberal judges in taking the bench at Biden's behest in the two years he has been in office.

Much like Trump left a legacy of conservative judges in his wake, Biden is trying to do the same with progressives, and there is little conservatives can do to stop him.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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