Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer falsely claimed Thursday that the Supreme Court was made up of "all White men" until 1981, skipping over the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967.
"The president’s pledge to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court is historic," Schumer said during floor remarks about President Biden’s forthcoming Supreme Court nomination.
"Until 1981, this powerful body, the Supreme Court, was all White men. Imagine. America wasn't all White men in 1981, or ever," Schumer continued. "Under President Biden and this Senate majority, we're taking historic steps to make the courts look more like the country they serve by confirming highly qualified, diverse nominees."
Schumer forgot about Marshall, a member of the high court’s liberal wing who served as associate justice from 1967 until his retirement in 1991. He died in 1993 at the age of 84.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas replaced Marshall in 1991 after being nominated by Republican President George H. W. Bush.
Schumer later apologized on Twitter for the gaffe.
"Sorry that I misspoke earlier today," he wrote. "Of course, I remember the dedication and legal excellence that Thurgood Marshall brought to the Supreme Court."
Schumer said during his earlier remarks that he met with Biden at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the president’s intention to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court after Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement. Biden has said he would choose a nominee by the end of this month.
Schumer said Thursday that he would "see to it" that the confirmation process is "fair" and speedy.