Richard Grenell, who briefly served as acting director of national intelligence under President Donald Trump, called President Joe Biden's pledge to nominate the first black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, "a terrible precedent," noting that many people were excluded from the pool of potential candidates.
Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill the seat of Justice Stephen Breyer, who is slated to retire later this year. In a 53-47 vote on Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jackson to serve on the nation's high court. GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who in June, 2021, voted against confirming Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was one of only three Republicans to vote in favor of confirming Jackson to the Supreme Court.
"There will be one seat on the Supreme Court with an asterisk - because not every American was considered to fill it. Hispanics, Asians, Whites, gays and men were not even considered. This is a terrible precedent," tweeted Grenell, who also previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California responded by tweeting, "Apparently @RichardGrenell believes that prior to President Biden, every Asian American, every gay person and every Black female was considered for Supreme Court openings and not a single one of them throughout US history was ever qualified. That’s [bullsh*t] and it’s demeaning."
Grenell, who is openly gay, fired back, "Ted LIEu proudly supports rejecting Hispanics from Supreme Court consideration. His constituents are outraged by his open intolerance." In another tweet Grenell said, "Ted LIEu attacks @BarackObama and Bill Clinton as racists and homophobes."
President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 — she is the first Hispanic to serve on the high court.
"What about the fact that minorities were historically excluded from Supreme Court openings?" Lieu replied to several people who had responded to his tweet. "Do you actually believe not a single Asian American, gay or Black female prior to Biden was qualified? What about that? Why won’t you answer the real question?"
Grenell accused Lieu of backing "racism and sexism."
"No President has ever vocally excluded Asians, Hispanics and men for the Court. Stop defending this horrific precedent of intolerance. Shame on you for supporting racism and sexism," Grenell tweeted.
Other Americans have also been critical of Biden's decision to limit the pool of potential candidates based on skin color and gender.
"Biden’s mistake: He should not be choosing a Supreme Court justice based on the color of their skin or sex, but rather on their qualifications & commitment to uphold our Constitution & the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in that document which is the foundation of our nation," former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tweeted earlier this year.