”There is no affirmative action component if you pick her,” the Republican senator said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday broke with several of his Republican colleagues by seemingly expressing support for President Joe Biden’s pledge to nominate the first-ever Black woman to the Supreme Court.
In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Graham (R-S.C.) — a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — also appeared to endorse J. Michelle Childs, a U.S. District Court judge in his home state of South Carolina, for the seat held by the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
“Put me in the camp of making sure the court and other institutions look like America,” Graham said. “You know, we make a real effort as Republicans to recruit women and people of color to make the party look more like America.”
Senate Republicans and conservative commentators have repeatedly criticized Biden for committing to selecting a Black woman to fill Breyer’s seat, with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) suggesting in a local radio interview on Friday that whomever the president picks will be a “beneficiary” of affirmative action.
But Graham distanced himself from Wicker’s remarks on Sunday, saying,
“Affirmative action is picking somebody not as well qualified for past wrongs. Michelle Childs is incredibly qualified. There is no affirmative action component if you pick her.”