Senate

Graham fumes at confirmation hearing: Childs treatment ‘vicious’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) fumed over progressive criticism of J. Michelle Childs, a district court nominee who was also a Supreme Court contender, and accused Democrats of holding a double standard against GOP nominees. 

Graham’s remarks, which came near the start of the four-day hearing for President Biden’s actual nominee for the court — Ketanji Brown Jackson — are the most extensive comments Graham has given on Jackson’s nomination since his meeting with Jackson last week. 

After that meeting, which lasted roughly 15 minutes, Graham went radio silent on his thinking about Jackson

“The attacks from the left against Judge Childs was really pretty vicious, to be honest with you,” Graham said. 

Graham added that he believed there was a “wholesale effort” to take her out of the running for the Supreme Court seat. 

“This is a new game for the Supreme Court, and this game is particularly disturbing to me,” Graham said. 

“If that’s the way the game’s going to be played then I’ll have a response, and I don’t expect it to … reward that way of playing the game,” he added. 

Graham predicted that Childs, if she had been nominated, would have gotten 60 or more votes. Supreme Court nominees can be confirmed with a simple majority. 

Jackson isn’t expected to get more than three GOP votes — the same number of Republican senators who supported her for her appeals court seat last year. 

Graham was one of the three Republican senators who voted for Jackson previously, along with Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). He is widely viewed as a “no” vote on Jackson. 

Graham lobbied hard for Childs to be the Supreme Court nominee and previously warned that it could be problematic for him to vote for another potential pick. 

Beyond Childs, Graham accused Democrats and the media of having a double standard in its treatment of Republican versus Democratic nominees of color. 

“Bottom line here is when it is about philosophy, when it’s somebody of color on our side, [and] it’s about if we’re all racist if we ask hard questions” if it is a Democratic nominee, Graham said. 

“It’s not going to fly with us. We’re used to it by now,” he added. 

Graham also fumed over the handling of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. Kavanaugh’s nomination was thrown into chaos after he faced sexual assault allegations, which he denied. 

The nomination descended the Senate into vitriol, with protestors confronting senators around the Capitol complex and Capitol Police officers helping escort lawmakers to votes. 

“Democratic senators are not going to have their windows busted by groups. It means that no Republican senator is going to unleash on you an attack about your character when the hearing is almost over,” Graham said. 

Tags Brett Kavanaugh Joe Biden Ketanji Brown Jackson Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Supreme Court Susan Collins

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