Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) continues to ardently champion the confirmation of Trump pick Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, on day three of the Barrett confirmation process, Graham made an eye-catching reference during his opening defense of Barrett, whose refusal to provide conclusive positions in particular policy areas has come under scrutiny. Referencing judicial ethics standards, Graham indicated that Barrett could freely provide opinions on previously conclusively litigated cases like Brown v. Board of Education – and he referred to the time in which that case emerged as “the good old days of segregation.” Could he have sounded more racist if he tried?
‘I think Sen. Hirono named 8 or 9 different cases that may come up to the Court, cases in controversy, and one of the reasons that you can’t tell us how you would rule, is because there’s active litigation coming to the court. Is that correct?’
Barrett indicated that Graham was correct. The Chairman continued:
‘Do you think Brown v. Board of Education is a super-precedent — you’re not aware of any effort to go back to the good old days of segregation by a legislative body. Is that correct?’
Barrett again indicated that the Chairman was correct, and she noted that she has previously expressed her perspective that the Brown decision was decided correctly. At this point, it’s dubious, at best, that an imminent member of the U.S. Supreme Court would imply that it’s any kind of potentially open question whether the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which desegregated schools, was decided correctly. It’s not an open question.
Check out Graham’s comments below:
Notably, the comment from Graham actually hearkens back to some comments that he made during a recent televised forum appearance about the prospects for black people in his home state of South Carolina. Graham insisted that black South Carolina residents can “go anywhere in this state” — as long as they’re conservative.
During that televised forum appearance, Graham said:
‘Do I believe our cops are systemically racist? No. Do I believe South Carolina is a racist state? No. Let me tell you why. To young people out there, young people of color, young immigrants, this is a great state, but one thing I can say without any doubt, you can be an African American and go to the Senate but you just have to share our values. If you’re a young, African American or an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal.’
These patronizing comments directed towards those who happen to be unlike Graham reek of racially-tinged arrogance.
As a matter of fact, the Cook Political Report states that Harrison’s race against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison is currently a toss-up, indicating that on a foundational level, Graham is incorrect (although that wasn’t imminently in question, per se). Recent polling has had both Graham and Harrison ahead by small margins, and Harrison’s campaign boasts an impressive level of fundraising. In the third quarter of 2020, Harrison’s campaign raised a full $57 million from almost one million individual donors, which is the highest single-quarter fundraising haul of any U.S. Senate candidate ever.