The U.S. Senate has confirmed a new federal judge for South Carolina, but not before some Democratic lawmakers said they would vote against the white nominee because he replaced two black ones.
District Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum was approved in a 69-28 vote Thursday. While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said he had no issues with Quattlebaum’s credentials, the senator said he could not support President Donald Trump’s nominee because Quattlebaum was substituted in place of two African-American candidates chosen by then-President Barack Obama.
“As of February 14th, 83 percent of President Trump’s confirmed nominees were male. 92 percent were white,” Schumer said in a Senate floor speech Thursday.
South Carolina Republican lawmakers slammed Schumer’s comments Thursday, saying President Obama’s first choice for the post Donald Beatty had turned down the job to instead become chief justice for South Carolina’s Supreme Court. The other had problems with a “bond issue,” according to U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy.
“This is political correctness run amok,” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted. “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.”
The president chooses district judges largely based on the local Senate delegation.
Quattlebaum is a Greenville attorney with the Nelson Mullins law firm. He focuses on product liability, business and civil litigation, according to his bio on the firm’s website. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989.