Jan 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Lindsey Graham: A Black woman on the Supreme Court wouldn't be affirmative action

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) rejected the suggestion by some in his party that nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court would be "affirmative action," while heaping praise on one of the likely frontrunners for the high court seat.

Why it matters: Graham's remarks are in stark contrast to those of Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and some of his other Republican colleagues.

Catch up quick: The Mississippi senator last week said a Black woman's nomination would be akin to "affirmative racial discrimination" and Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, argued that race and gender should not be considered when choosing the nominee, "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan pointed out during Graham's appearance.

What he's saying: "Put me in the camp of making sure the court and other institutions look like America. You know, we make a real effort as Republicans to recruit women and people of color to make the party look more like America," said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • "Affirmative action is picking somebody not as well qualified for past wrongs. Michelle Childs is incredibly qualified. There's no affirmative action component if you pick her," he continued.
  • "I can't think of a better person for President Biden to consider for the Supreme Court than Michelle Childs. She has wide support in our state, she's considered to be a fair minded, highly gifted jurist."
  • "She's one of the most decent people I've ever met. It would be good for the court to have somebody who's not at Harvard or Yale. She's a graduate of the University of South Carolina...I cannot say anything bad about Michelle Childs. She's an awesome person."

Go deeper: Sen. Durbin says SCOTUS nominee will have "a deliberate, timely hearing"

Editor’s note: We corrected the last name of J. Michelle Childs in the second quoted reference.

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