Biden Says His Next SCOTUS Nominee 'Will Be An Illegal Immigrant, I Mean Undocumented'

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President Joe Biden on Monday reiterated his commitment to increasing the diversity of the United States Supreme Court.

"If given the opportunity to nominate another justice to our nation's highest court, or if I change my mind about expanding the court, my next nominee will be the first illegal immigrant ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court," Biden told reporters outside the White House, in a rare back-and-forth with the media. "Sorry. I meant to say undocumented. The next Supreme Court justice on my watch will be an undocumented immigrant of color. Oops."

The announcement echoes the pledges Biden made in 2020, when he vowed to choose a female running mate, and in 2022, when he vowed to nominate a black woman to replace retiring Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer. Alas, diversity advocates have long complained that all members of the Supreme Court are citizens of the United States.

"Undocumented representation on the Supreme Court is long overdue," said Cordelia Campos-Patterson, assistant professor of Latinx studies at Yale University. "How can we call ourselves a nation of laws when millions of non-citizens are denied the opportunity to assess the constitutionality of those laws?"

Senior White House adviser Ian Sams defended Biden's pledge, noting that the U.S. Constitution does not specify whether an individual must be a natural-born citizen to serve on the Supreme Court. "If an Uncle Tom like Clarence Thomas can sit on the court promoting white supremacy for more than three decades, I think it's only fair to let an undocumented immigrant have a turn," he said.

Editor's Note: Today is April 1, 2024.