Former Housing Secretary Ben Carson accused President Joe Biden of “identity politics” for his intent to pick a Black woman as the next Supreme Court justice.
Biden called the appointment “long overdue” on Thursday as Justice Stephen Breyer announced he would be retiring after nearly 28 years on the high court.
Carson, a Black Republican who served in former President Donald Trump’s cabinet, has long opposed progressive views on race.
“This is America. Many people fought and gave their lives to bring equality, and now we’re reverting back to identity politics,” he said later Thursday on WMAL radio’s Vince Coglianese Show when asked about the impending court vacancy. “And as we continue to do that, we’re bringing more division into our country.”
Carson said Biden could be setting a “detrimental” precedent by focusing on a woman of color.
“If he can do that, then who else can do it in the future using the criteria that they want and completely ignoring all the progress that’s been made?” he said. “It makes absolutely no sense, and I hope people will be incensed about it.”
Despite Biden’s pledge that “the person I will nominate will be somebody of extraordinary qualifications, character and integrity,” Carson remained concerned.
“We need a Supreme Court where we have the best candidates who understand the Constitution and are not trying to legislate from the bench,” he continued. “Things have gotten so partisan, at least on the left side.”
“To create that kind of situation in the highest court in the land is really abominable and very detrimental to our freedoms,” he added.
Carson has previously drawn rebukes from Black leaders for his views on race. In 2020, former gubernatorial candidate and activist Stacey Abrams called him “infantile” for suggesting Americans were too sensitive on racial matters.
He also made misguided comments about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in protest over police brutality and racism, and once called Obamacare the worst thing to happen to America “since slavery.”