Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), attempting to make a joke, pondered about the “good old days of segregation” during the third day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett. The line was delivered in jest but it hit with a thud. Barrett said Tuesday at the hearings that the landmark desegregation Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, was a “super-precedent” beyond overruling, while suggesting that, according to scholars, Roe v. Wade is not “because calls for its overruling have never ceased.” “One of the reasons you can say with confidence that you think Brown v. Board of Education is super-precedent is you’re not aware of any effort to go back to the good old days of segregation,” Graham asked Wednesday. Graham is currently in a tight race against South Carolina Democrat Jamie Harrison, whose campaign has focused on ending poverty and racial inequality.
Asked by a reporter about the comment, Graham said it was made with “deep sarcasm” and it “blows my mind” that opponents could have taken it seriously. “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,” he said, adding that he represented a state in which African-Americans make up 31 percent of the population. “I want to assure the people of South Carolina, that statement was made with dripping sarcasm.”