The general consensus in DC is that President Biden will be able to get his nominee on the Supreme Court without the usual scorched-earth fight of recent confirmations. But even if that proves to be the case, some political fireworks are inevitable. The Hill, for example, expects Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley—all potential presidential candidates in 2024 or beyond—to use their positions on the Senate Judiciary Committee to raise their profiles with the conservative base. Cruz seems to be at the forefront of that. Coverage:
- Cruz: On his Verdict With Ted Cruz podcast, the Texas senator criticized Biden for limiting the pool of candidates to Black women, reports CNN. "I gotta say that's offensive. You know, 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.'"
- Elaborating: "It's actually an insult to Black women," says Cruz. "If he came and said, 'I'm gonna put the best jurist on the court and he looked at a number of people and he ended up nominating a Black woman, he could credibly say, 'OK, I'm nominating the person who's most qualified.' He's not even pretending to say that. He's saying, 'If you're a white guy, tough luck. If you're a white woman, tough luck.'"
- Hawley, Cotton: Hawley has voiced a similar criticism, saying, "I think it sends the wrong signal to say that, 'Well, if a person is of a certain ethnic background, that we don't care what their record is, we don't care what their substantive beliefs are.' That would be extraordinary.'" Cotton, who the Hill notes is in sync with Mitch McConnell, has been more muted: "We'll give a thorough vetting into any nominee's legal philosophies, as well as their career and their character and their temperament."
- An assessment: "McConnell and Hawley and Cruz are speaking to totally different audiences," Republican strategist Brian Darling tells the Hill. "McConnell is keeping his head down and speaking to voters in the midterms, whereas Hawley and Cruz are speaking to the core Republican primary voters, looking down the line to 2024."
- Rebutting Cruz: "This nation has been built on the strength and fortitude of Black women," tweeted Democratic Rep. Marilyn Strickland. "The only thing insulting to this Black woman is Ted Cruz thinking he speaks for us."
- Others: GOP Sen. Roger Wicker previously drew criticism from the White House for suggesting that the eventual nominee would be a "beneficiary" of affirmative action, notes the Washington Post. Fellow GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham also rejected that notion.
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