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Tipsheet

Cruz Calls Biden's Decision to Nominate a Black Woman to SCOTUS 'Offensive' and an 'Insult to Black Women'

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said that President Joe Biden's promise to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court without considering other potential candidates is both "offensive" and an "insult" to black women.

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"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 percent of the US population? He's saying to 94 percent of Americans, 'I don't give a damn about you, you are ineligible,'" Cruz said Monday on his podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz."

"And he's also saying — it's actually an insult to black women," he continued. "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. You don't qualify.'"

Biden initially declared during a Democratic primary debate in early 2020 that he would nominate a black woman to the high court should a vacancy arise, and reaffirmed his stance last week after Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announced his plans to retire at the end of the current term.

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Names floated around as potential nominees include D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and South Carolina federal district Judge J. Michelle Childs, who the White House has confirmed is a potential replacement for Breyer.

Cruz joins a slew of Republican lawmakers who have criticized Biden's pledge to pick a black woman for the Supreme Court vacancy. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) said in a Friday interview that the nominee will be a "beneficiary" of affirmative action and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) explained Sunday that the president's campaign promise "helped politicize" the nomination process.

But some Republicans are more welcoming to the idea of a black woman on the bench, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) saying Sunday that he supports ensuring that America's institutions "look like America."

And White House press secretary Jen Psaki pointed out Tuesday when asked by a reporter about Cruz's criticisms that the Texas lawmaker had no objection with former President Donald Trump vowing to nominate a woman to the Supreme Court after the death of Justice Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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"[Cruz] had no objection to Donald Trump promising he'd nominate a woman in 2020," Psaki said. "Repeat, no objection at all. In fact, he praised her on these grounds...During her confirmation hearing, Senator Cruz said, 'I think you're an amazing role model for little girls. What advice would you give little girls?'"

An ABC News/ Ipsos poll published Sunday found that 76 percent of Americans want Biden to consider "all possible nominees" compared to just 23 percent who support his decision to only consider black women.

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