Dick Durbin says Biden court picks have been ‘controversial’ because his theme is ‘assertive women of color’

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(Video Credit: NBC News)

Senator Dick Durbin commented to HuffPost on Monday that President Joe Biden has made more controversial court picks in the past than he anticipated as they discussed potential SCOTUS nominees, claiming that his overall theme is “assertive women of color.”

“Asked if he thinks it’s gonna be harder for GOPers to criticize/oppose a Black woman for SCOTUS, Durbin notes some of Biden’s other court picks have been ‘more controversial than I anticipated.’ Me: Is there a theme to them? Durbin: ‘Assertive women of color,'” HuffPost senior politics reporter Jennifer Bendery tweeted.

The curious tweet comes as Biden is set to meet with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee while he makes a decision concerning his first nomination to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has confirmed that he will be retiring at the end of this session which will be sometime this summer. Following that announcement, Biden reaffirmed his campaign promise to nominate a black woman to take his seat.

The president’s shortlist includes U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs of South Carolina. Also rumored to be under consideration are U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has voiced his approval of Childs as a nominee. He told CBS’ Margaret Brennan this weekend that Childs was “incredibly qualified,” “fair-minded,” and “one of the most decent people I’ve ever met.” Graham, however, did not say he would vote to confirm her.

(Video Credit: CBS News)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that Biden would be inviting Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who are the ranking Republican and Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, to the White House to speak with them concerning his choice for the upcoming vacancy.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week,” Durbin was also asked about criticisms of Biden’s pledge.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted last week that the president should choose a nominee based on qualifications without considering race or gender and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker said in an interview that the nominee will be a “beneficiary” of affirmative action.

“I’m going to trust his judgment on this,” Durbin told ABC host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. “I don’t want to put the finger on the scale for any one of the nominees.”

Durbin noted that Biden’s promise to pick a black woman for the bench “is not the first time that a president has signaled what they are looking for in a nominee.” He was ostensibly referring to former President Ronald Reagan’s vow during his 1980 campaign that he would nominate a woman for the Supreme Court and former President Trump promising he would select a woman to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg following her death in 2020.

“I’d remind them to take a look back at history and recall that it was Ronald Reagan who announced that he was going to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court, and he did, Sandra Day O’Connor. And it was Donald Trump who announced that he was going to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a woman nominee as well,” Durbin admonished. “So this is not the first time that a president has signaled what they’re looking for in a nominee.”

“And I would just say the bottom line is this in terms of African American women. If they have achieved the level of success in practice of law and jurisprudence, they’ve done it against great odds. They’re extraordinary people, usually the first of anything in the United States turns out to be extraordinary in their background. And the same is true there,” Durbin continued.

“They’re all going to face the same close scrutiny. This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. And I just hope that those who are critical of the president’s selection aren’t doing it for personal reasons.” he added.

(Video Credit: ABC News)


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