The Senate confirmed one of President Trump’s judicial nominees Thursday despite Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s attempt to foil the nominee because of his race.
Marvin Quattlebaum was confirmed to the U.S. District Court in South Carolina by a vote of 69 to 28.
Mr. Schumer said Mr. Quattlebaum was taking the seat on a court which had been left vacant after Republican senators halted two African American nominees picked by President Obama.
The New York Democrat said Mr. Trump’s federal bench is lacking the diversity that America symbolizes.
“Eighty-three of President Trump’s were male, 92 percent white. That represents the lowest share of nonwhite candidates in three decades,” Mr. Schumer said on the chamber floor Wednesday.
“The nomination of Marvin Quattlebaum speaks to the overall lack of diversity in President Trump’s selections for the federal judiciary,” Schumer said. “President Trump replaces not one, but two scuttled Obama nominees who were African-American … It’s long past time that the judiciary starts looking at lot more like the America it represents.”
– Chuck Schumer
“The Trump administration…is taking a giant step backward, this time when it comes to diversity of their nominations. I’ll be voting no,” he said.
“My main concern has been that these were vacancies where African-Americans were appointed that would have given greater diversity and were held up,” said Cardin. “It’s more of a protest vote.”
– Ben Cardin
Perhaps Senate Democrats should be more worried about the lack of diversity on their own staffs than attacking an extremely well-qualified judicial nominee from the great state of South Carolina. https://t.co/unrR7Cz7Mp
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) March 1, 2018
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, pushed back, saying Mr. Schumer should judge nominees based off their character, not the color of their skin.
“I’ve known Chuck Schumer for years. He is not a racist, but this was an absolutely shameful reason to vote against a very qualified nominee,” Mr. Graham said in a statement Thursday.
“This is political correctness run amok. Voting against a highly qualified nominee because of the color of his skin does nothing to bring our country and nation together. Frankly it is a massive step backward,” he said.
Eighteen Democrats broke with their party leader and voted for Mr. Quattlebaum. Sen. Angus King, Maine Independent, who usually votes with Democrats also backed Mr. Quattlebaum.
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