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Lindsey Graham Slammed For "Good Old Days Of Segregation" Joke At SCOTUS Hearing

After Graham’s opponent criticized the Republican senator for his comment, Graham told reporters that he made the comment “with deep sarcasm.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) listens during the confirmation for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the third day of hearings on October 14, 2020. | Getty Images
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) listens during the confirmation for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the third day of hearings on October 14, 2020. | Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), who is up for reelection, is being criticized for saying “the good ol’ days of segregation” on Wednesday during the Senate hearings to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. After his opponent Jaime Harrison called him out on Twitter, Graham told reporters he made the comment out of “deep sarcasm.”

During the third day of confirmation hearings, Graham, a fierce Trump ally and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Barrett about her views on the landmark case Brown v. Board, in which the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools in the 1950s. 

“One of the reasons you can say with confidence that you think Brown v. the Board of Education’s super precedent is that you’re not aware of any effort to go back to the good ol’ days of segregation by a legislative body, is that correct?” Graham asked. 

“That is correct,” Barrett said. 

If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Barrett would cement a 6-3 conservative majority. 

Later Wednesday, Democratic Senate candidate and Graham’s rival, Jaime Harrison, tweeted the clip and said: “The good old days for who, Senator? It’s 2020, not 1920. Act like it.”

A reporter later asked Graham about his comment and Harrison’s response on Twitter, to which Graham said he was being sarcastic and was trying to make a point. 

“If anybody was listening to who I am and what I said, you’d know that it was with deep sarcasm that I suggested that some legislative body would want to yearn for ‘the good ol’ days of segregation,’” Graham said. “The point that I am trying to make [is] there is nobody in America, in the legislative arena, wanting to take us back to that dark period in American history. And for my opponent to suggest that says far more about him than me.” 
 

The video circulated online with several others slamming the senator for making the comment:

Harrison is working to unseat Graham this election and his campaign has so far raised a record-breaking amount of money to try and do so. Harrison winning the election could help flip the Senate to a Democratic majority. 

Despite the 1950s ruling, segregation in U.S. schools remains prevalent, as some districts are separated by income; predominantly white schools typically receive more funding, and many students are in “racially concentrated districts,” according to the New York Times.