Sen. Schumer Claims Supreme Court Was ‘All White Men’ Until 1981, Forgetting When Thurgood Marshall Served

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While defending President Joe Biden’s pledge to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer bungled the timeline for when the highest court in the country ceased to be occupied by “all white men.”

Schumer called Biden’s pledge to nominate someone to the Supreme Court based first and foremost on their race and sex “historic,” before pointing out that a small number of the 115 Supreme Court justices since 1789 have been non-white or women.

“Only five of them have ever been women, none until 1981,” Schumer said. “Only two have been African-American, but never, never has there been an African-American women [sic], who still make up barely 6% of the federal judiciary.”

Schumer then declared, incorrectly, that “Until 1981, this powerful body, the Supreme Court, was all White men.”

“Imagine. America wasn’t all White men in 1981, or ever. Under President Biden and this Senate majority, we’re taking historic steps to make the courts look more like the country they serve,” he continued.

While Schumer clearly knows who former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall is – he is the only other African-American man to serve on the court besides current Justice Clarence Thomas, as Schumer pointed out – he appears to have forgotten that Marshall was appointed to the court in 1967 – 14 years before Schumer’s stated claim that the Supreme Court ceased to be “all white men” in 1981, which was the year Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed.

Not long after that, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), never one to suffer fools gladly, swooped in with a hilarious Ron Burgundy reference in response to Schumer’s speech flub:

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