Whether it’s feeling like they have the go-ahead from the president or the tip of the iceberg in a slide toward right-wing extremism, the Republican Party under Donald Trump has been remarkably consistent about saying the quiet part out loud. Two days after Senator Mitch McConnell laughed his way through coronavirus criticisms, his fellow party member Lindsey Graham referred to the Jim Crow era as “the good old days.”
As part of the Senate’s hearing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Graham was working to provide cover for Barrett’s somewhat dodgy record on cases involving race. He hoped to get her on record saying that she wasn’t looking to reinstate segregation (2020, huh?), but catastrophically flubbed his question.
“You’re not aware of any effort to go back to the good old days of segregation by a legislative body, is that correct?” Graham asked as Barrett agreed.
People on social media, including his opponent in the upcoming election, couldn't help but slam the Senator for his exceptionally poor choice of words.
Graham meanwile, called his comment "deep sarcasm."
An academic paper Barrett wrote took on many famous Supreme Court cases and several amendments from her originalist viewpoint, arguing that the 14th Amendment (that extends citizenship and equal protection to former slaves) was improperly ratified and questions aspects of the landmark desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education. Additionally, she heard a case about workplace discrimination wherein a manager called the plaintiff the n-word and argued that it did not amount to creating a hostile work environment. In the hearing, she does a bit of an about-face from that paper, saying that Brown is correct under her understanding of the Constitution. She called it a “super-precedent” that can not be overturned.