Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday slammed President Biden’s Supreme Court criteria of only nominating a “black woman” to the bench.
“Racial discrimination is wrong. Period, full stop. One of the most depressing things about Democrats today, they’re very comfortable discriminating based on race,” said Cruz, who has argued nine cases in front of the Court.
“When Joe Biden throws out a [race] quota… he is, number one, rejecting regardless of merits, everybody else, whether they are white, black, Hispanic, or native American,” Cruz made the case against affirmative action.
“It ends up being insulting to African American women,” Cruz added.
Since Lyndon Johnson’s 1960s so-called civil rights legislation, racial preferences – euphemistically called “affirmative action” by some – is a phrase conveying the practice of government policies to achieve unequal outcomes to narrow the gap of “inequities” that have derived from past errors.
Sen. Ted Cruz: "Racial discrimination is wrong. Period, full stop. One of the most depressing things about Democrats today, they're very comfortable discriminating based on race. … When Joe Biden throws out a quota … [he is] rejecting regardless of merits everybody else." pic.twitter.com/8O70wbrJVy
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 1, 2022
Biden made it clear during the 2020 campaign and confirmed last week he would only nominate a “black woman” to the Court to ensure his administration achieved equal “representation.”
“I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a black woman on the Supreme Court, to make sure we, in fact, get every representation,” he said.
Cruz is not the only senator to decry Biden’s Supreme Court criteria. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has also disagreed with Biden’s campaign “pledge” to only consider a “black woman.”
When CNN pushed back on Collins, suggesting Ronald Reagan also made a campaign pledge to fill a Supreme Court vacancy with a woman, Collins said that Reagan only stated “one of his Supreme Court justices would be a woman.”
“You’re skipping over what he exactly said” Collins added.
Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley, who testified at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial at the request of Republicans, has also distinguished between Biden and Reagan’s criteria. Turley explained his opinion in a Fox News op-ed last week:
Reagan did not exclude anyone other than women in being considered while making clear that he wanted to give one of his vacancies to a female candidate.
On Oct. 15, 1980, Reagan declared that “I am announcing today that one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can possibly find. … It is time for a woman to sit among the highest jurists.”
Notably, it was Jimmy Carter who pounced on that pledge as creating a threshold gender criteria. Others noted at the time that Reagan was simply pledging that he would select a woman in “one of the first Supreme Court vacancies” rather than the first vacancy. Indeed, when a vacancy did arise, aides told the media that there was “no guarantee” that he would select a woman.
Republicans also came to regret Reagan’s appointment of that woman, Sandra Day O’Connor, as she proved the key fifth vote against several critical priorities to conservatives. Reagan focused on merit for his subsequent nominees, including Antonin Scalia and William Rehnquist.
Biden told reporters last week his Supreme Court nomination would come before the end of February. Sen. Schumer (D-NY) and chair of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), have promised to hold prompt congressional hearings on Biden’s nominee.
On Tuesday afternoon, Biden met with Durbin and committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to speak about his Supreme Court nomination. After the meeting, Biden told reporters he and the two Senators are experienced at selecting a Court nominee:
We’ve done a lot of supreme court justices, Senator Grassley and I, and Senator Durbin. We’ve worked together on supreme court nominees. Selecting a justice is one of the president’s most serious responsibilities and as I always said, I looked back at a lot of opening statements I’ve made, Dick, I’ve presided over more than anybody else around, which kind of means we must be beyond 60, Chuck, I’m not sure what it is. a little older.
NEW/BREAKING: Doug Jones, former Democratic senator of Alabama, will be ‘sherpa’ for Biden’s SCOTUS nominee, per source familiar. More TK.
— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) February 1, 2022