Last week, in a joint press conference with President Joe Biden, Justice Stephen Breyer officially announced his intention to retire from the Supreme Court.
The announcement revived a moment from the 2020 campaign trail in which then-candidate Biden vowed to nominate the first Black woman ever to sit on the nation's highest Court.
At the joint presser, Biden announced that he intends to make good on that promise, saying:
“While I've been studying candidates' backgrounds and writings, I've made no decisions except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”
Though Biden hasn't yet named a nominee, conservatives have decried Biden's commitment to appoint a Black woman. Under the apparent assumption that a Black woman wouldn't be the most qualified for the job, they've claimed Biden is solely considering candidates' race and gender in making his decision, despite the many qualified Black women jurists suitable to serve on the Supreme Court.
Far-right Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, however, vowed that Republican Senators wouldn't launch a "smear campaign" against whomever the nominee ends up being.
January 30, 2022: Senator Cotton Joins Fox News Sunday with Dana Perino youtu.be
In a Fox News Sunday interview with Dana Perino, Cotton reminisced on Trump's contentious 2018 nomination of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Court. Kavanaugh was credibly accused of sexual assault, which spurred additional Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of both Kavanaugh, and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford. Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed to the Court, after which it was discovered that the FBI's investigation of the claims was insufficient.
When asked how Republicans would approach Biden's eventual nominee, Cotton responded:
"I suspect we'll all keep an open mind, we will review the nominee on her merits. ... I can say one thing that I won't do, and I doubt any Republican will do, is engage in the kind of grotesque smear campaigns against the character of fine men like Clarence Thomas or as we saw what happened with Brett Kavanaugh two years ago. ... We're not gonna do what Democrats do, which is simply make up smears against a nominee."
People were highly skeptical of his comments.
Others claimed Republicans have already launched a smear campaign of sorts before even knowing who the nominee is.
We'll see how well his comments end up aging.