Former Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took issue with President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would nominate a black woman to the nation’s highest court, arguing that the decision should not be based on gender or race.
Gabbard tweeted, “Biden’s mistake: He should not be choosing a Supreme Court justice based on the color of their skin or sex, but rather on their qualifications & commitment to uphold our Constitution & the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in that document which is the foundation of our nation.”
Gabbard represented Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district for eight years.
President Biden previously pledged to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court on the campaign trail. His first opportunity to fulfill his promise came with the recent announcement by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer that he would retire this summer.
After Breyer’s retirement announcement, Biden said, “I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. And that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s a long overdue, in my view.”
Former Rep. Gabbard was joined in her criticism of Biden’s pledge by several prominent Republicans, including former President Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who referred to the promise as “abominable.”
“Many people fought and gave their lives to bring equality. And now we’re reverting back to identity politics. And as we continue to do that, we’re bringing more division into our country,” said Carson.
“We need a Supreme Court where we have the best candidates who understand the Constitution and are not trying to legislate from the bench.”
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz called the president’s vow to nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court insulting to Americans as well as the eventual nominee.
Cruz drew angry criticism for his comments from those who say he is missing the bigger goal of Biden’s overall plan to diversify federal courts.
“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,” said Cruz on his podcast.
“Black women are, what, 6% of the U.S. population? He’s saying to 94% of Americans: ‘I don’t give a damn about you. You are ineligible.'”
Cruz continued, “It’s actually an insult to black women. If he came and said, ‘I’m going to 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.”
Only five women have served on the high court, and no black women. Biden has said he expects to announce his nomination before the end of February.