Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday that President Biden’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee should not expect personal attacks akin to what Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh faced during his 2018 confirmation to the high court.
Mr. Cruz said he and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee would undertake a “vigorous” vetting of the nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen G. Breyer, but the focus would be on the nominee’s record.
“We’re not going to do what the Democrats did with Brett Kavanaugh,” the Texas Republican told “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re not going to go into the gutter. We’re not going to engage in personal slime and attacks. We’re going to focus on the nominee’s record, on substance, on what kind of justice she would make.”
Following his nomination by former President Donald Trump, Justice Kavanaugh faced allegations of sexual misconduct from several accusers, whose claims became public when the Senate deliberated on his appointment to the high court.
Among the accusers was Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed he assaulted her when they were both in high school. Justice Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
Supreme Court nominees during the Trump administration experienced a rocky road. Mr. Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, faced the first successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in 2017. Republicans responded by eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court confirmations.
The family of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Mr. Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, came under scrutiny during her 2020 confirmation process.
Observers such as author Ibram X. Kendi raised the issue of the skin color of Justice Barrett’s adopted children in determining whether she and other adoptive parents were racist. Justice Barrett later championed her kids, including those adopted from Haiti, during a Senate hearing.
The issue of race figures to be front and center with the next Supreme Court nominee, as Mr. Biden has pledged to nominate a Black woman for the position and is reviewing candidates.
Mr. Cruz said Sunday he thinks Mr. Biden’s process is racially discriminatory.
“If Fox News put a posting, ‘we’re looking for a new host for Fox News Sunday and we will only hire an African American woman or an Hispanic man or a Native American woman,’ that would be illegal,” Mr. Cruz told “Fox News Sunday.” “Nobody else can do what Joe Biden did and there’s a reason for that: Racial discrimination is wrong.”