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Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard on Monday criticized President Biden for promising to elect a Supreme Court candidate who is a black woman, saying such a move is harmful to “identity politics”.
“Biden chose Harris as her VP because of her skin color and gender – not qualifications. She’s been a disaster,” Gabbard said early Monday morning. “Now he promises to choose a Supreme Court candidate on the same criteria. Identity politics is destroying our country.”
Biden promised on the campaign track that he would nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, a promise he doubled when Judge Stephen Breyer announced his retirement last week.
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The president also said he would elect a female vice president, and his quest was led by several black women, including Harris – who has been heavily criticized for her job performance by both parties. Other names who were seriously flown up to be Biden’s deputy comrade were former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and rep. Val Demings, D-Fla.
Progressives praised Biden last week for sticking to the promise of nominating a black woman. Some conservatives, meanwhile, criticized him for narrowing down his field of qualified nominees – sometimes resulting in harsh backlash from liberal activists – while others said Biden’s promise is simply not fair.
Late. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Called the president’s pledge “affirmative racial discrimination.”
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Democrats defending Biden’s search criteria note that former President Ronald Reagan said he would likely nominate a woman to court, and former President Donald Trump explicitly said he would nominate a woman after Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.
Late. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., also appeared to be defending Biden’s move on “Meet the Press” Sunday.
“Put me in the camp to make sure the court and other institutions are similar to America,” he said. “You know we’re making a real effort as Republicans to recruit women and people of color to make the party look more like America.”
Graham added: “Affirmative action is choosing someone who is not so well qualified for past mistakes. Michelle Childs is incredibly qualified. There is no positive discrimination component if you choose her.”
Childs, a black woman, is a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina and is currently nominated to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Graham and House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn, DS.C., are both vocal supporters of her. In a potential nod to how seriously the White House is considering her for the vacant position in the Supreme Court, the Senate Judiciary Committee adjourned a Tuesday hearing it had planned for Childs’ district court nomination.
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also stressed last week that the White House will weigh heavily on potential nominees’ qualifications.
“The president’s intention is to consult with members of both parties, and his intention is to nominate a qualified candidate … who is worthy of the excellence and decency of Breyer’s legacy,” she said.
Biden said he plans to select his candidate for the Supreme Court by the end of February.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.