Garland, who is Jewish, shot down Lee’s charge. “I’ve read, in the last few days, these allegations about Kristen Clarke, who I’ve also gotten to know. Who I also trust. Who I believe is a person of integrity,” Garland responded. Pressed again, he added with some heat, “I’m a pretty good judge of what an anti-Semite is, and I do not believe that she is an anti-Semite. And I do not believe that she is discriminatory in any sense.” (For the record, neither does the Anti-Defamation League.)
As I write this, the homepage of the opposition-research site Bidennoms.com, a link recently tweeted by Ted Cruz, “spotlights” two nominees with photos on their homepage: Clarke and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who’s been nominated to run Medicare and Medicaid — both Black women.
“It’s impossible not to notice that women of color seem to be drawing fire for the wrong reasons,” says Justin Levitt, a Loyola Law School professor and former Civil Rights division official. National Women’s Law Center president Fatima Goss Graves told me, “These types of campaigns against women of color, and the language that is being used, to portray these nominees as ‘radical’ are not being levied against men.”