Senate

GOP senator: Supreme Court nominee should not push ‘woke agenda’

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who is up for reelection this year, said on Tuesday that he wants President Biden to put forward a Supreme Court nominee “who’s not going to try to rewrite the Constitution every other Thursday to try to advance a ‘woke agenda,’ ” according to Politico.

The comments came during the Senate Republicans’ private lunch Tuesday, when Kennedy also reportedly said he wants “a nominee who knows a law book from a J. Crew catalog.” 

Kennedy has used variations of these phrases before. He asked both Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Barrett whether they agree if “it’s inappropriate for a federal judge to try to rewrite the Constitution every other Thursday to advance an agenda that either or his/her supporters can’t get by the voters.”

He also used the J Crew analogy in 2020 while discussing the first impeachment articles against Trump. “Anyone who knows a law book from a J. Crew catalog does not take this charge seriously,” he said.

Biden has come under various Republican attacks in recent days over his pledge to nominate the high court’s first Black female justice, after Justice Stephen Breyer formally announced his retirement.

When asked by CNN last week about the fact that Biden is poised to pick an African American woman, Kennedy said, “I’m going to judge the nominee on his or her qualifications, on the basis of the criteria I just gave you.”

Politico noted that the comments from the Louisiana Republican, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, came during a debate over whether it was counterproductive for the GOP to battle against Biden’s SCOTUS nominee. 

Kennedy, a former Democratic state treasurer who became a Republican, was first elected to the Senate in 2016 with 61 percent of the vote in his state. He announced his reelection bid last year and received former President Trumps endorsement. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is trying to turn down the temperature on the upcoming Supreme Court fight.

The Hill has reached out to Kennedy for comment. 

Kennedy’s comments follow remarks made by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday, who slammed Biden‘s vow to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, dubbing it “offensive.”

“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, you know Black women are what, 6 percent of the U.S. population? He’s saying to 94 percent of Americans, ‘I don’t give a damn about you, you are ineligible,’ ” Cruz said.

Following Breyer’s retirement, Biden confirmed that he would follow through on his campaign commitment to nominate a Black woman, adding, “I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character experience and integrity.”

Updated: 5:48 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden John Kennedy Mitch McConnell Stephen Breyer Ted Cruz

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