(The Hill) — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday pushed back against the notion that President Biden‘s vow to nominate a Black woman the Supreme Court was akin to “affirmative action,” saying he was in support of making U.S. institutions “look like America.”
“Put me in the camp of making sure the court and other institutions look like America,” Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “You know, we make a real effort as Republicans to recruit women and people of color to make the party look more like America. Affirmative action is picking somebody not as well qualified for past wrongs.”
Graham’s remarks come after Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker said in an interview last week that any Black female candidate whom Biden nominates to the court to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer would be a “beneficiary” of affirmative action.
During his interview on Sunday, Graham gave a glowing endorsement of South Carolina U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs to be considered for the Supreme Court, saying he couldn’t think of a better person for Biden to consider. The White House has confirmed that Childs is under consideration.
“Michelle Charles is incredibly qualified. There’s no affirmative action component if you pick her. She is highly qualified,” Graham said.
“In the history of our country we’ve only had five women serve and two African American men,” he added. “So let’s make the court more like America, but qualifications have to be the biggest consideration.”