Earlier this week, Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made headlines when he said he was open to a gay Supreme Court nominee. “I don’t think a person who acknowledges that they have gay tendencies is disqualified per se for the job,” he said. Yesterday on Fox News, Sessions initially sounded accepting of a gay nominee, saying, “Republicans do not believe in identity politics.” But he immediately qualified his statement, adding that a gay nominee would be a “big concern”:
Q: On the question of a gay nominee, one person is noted as saying that he believes it is a bridge too far to have a gay nominee.
SESSIONS: Well, I think that would be a big concern that the American people might feel — might feel uneasy about that. It is a matter for the president to decide.
The conservative group Focus on the Family also said yesterday, “We agree with Senator Sessions. The issue is not their sexual orientation. It’s whether they are a good judge or not.” But Sessions is now retreating to the position of anti-gay colleagues like Sen. John Thune (R-SD).