Senator Chuck Grassley uses the phrase “standard practice” to describe the scenario of leaving a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court until a new president takes office in 2017.
Soon after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was announced Saturday, the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate said Scalia’s seat on the court should not be filled by President Obama.
Grassley is chairman of the committee that would hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee. President Obama intends to nominate a replacement, but Grassley says there is a “huge divide in the country” and the senate will “defer to the American people” and wait to vote on the next president’s pick for the nation’s highest court.
Grassley says it’s a “standard practice” not to have this kind of a decision made in an election year.
The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in February of 1988. But President Reagan had nominated Kennedy in November of 1987 after his two other picks had failed to win senate confirmation.
Read Grassley’s statement here.