(NEXSTAR) — A day after taking flak for calling Pres. Joe Biden’s commitment to nominating the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court “offensive,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says conservative commentator Candace Owens, a Black woman, should be the next nominee.
Following Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement announcement last week, Biden underlined his promise to appoint the first Black woman to the court. Though widely lauded as a long-due equity imperative, the focus on a Black candidate was criticized by many in the Republican party – including Cruz.
“The fact that he’s willing to make a promise at the outset, that it must be a Black woman, I gotta say that’s offensive. You know, Black women are what, 6% of the US population? He’s saying to 94% of Americans, ‘I don’t give a damn about you, you are ineligible,'” Cruz said on his podcast. “… It’s actually an insult to Black women.”
The comments were met with some applause by Cruz’s party, but others condemned them.
“This nation has been built on the strength and fortitude of Black women,” said U.S. Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA). “We are everything from caregivers to CEOs and soon, a Supreme Court Justice. The only thing insulting to this Black woman is Ted Cruz thinking he speaks for us.”
Flak or not, Cruz resumed opining on the Biden’s impending nomination, tweeting early Monday: “@RealCandaceO for SCOTUS!”
Internet response was as expected.
Owens, 32, is a popular news personality and has courted controversy for comments on race, including the Black Lives Matter movement, Adolf Hitler, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the coronavirus vaccines. Late last year, former Pres. Donald Trump, who Owens supports, pushed back during an interview on her show “Candace,” after Owens implied vaccinations were causing more deaths.
“Oh no, the vaccines work, but some people aren’t the ones,” Trump rebutted. “The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine.”
On Monday, Owens tweeted “Joe Biden’s administration is guilty of mass murder” in defense of the anti-parasitic medication ivermectin, which the federal government does not recommend for COVID-19 use as it currently lacks data showing it has any effect at all.
Though Owens seems unlikely to be picked by Biden, several other names are already in play for Breyer’s replacement. Reuters reports possible Supreme Court nominees could include U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs and federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
President Biden is expected to announce his pick by the end of this month.