Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has maintained it would be unfair to the nominee, the court and the country for him to hold Judiciary Committee hearings on President Obama’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This is a critical moment in history for defending the United States Constitution,” Grassley said in February. “…The stakes are high.”
Grassley has been saying the next president should pick the next Supreme Court Justice — and Grassley says there must be a vigorous debate in this year’s presidential campaign about the choice.
“Do we want justices who decide cases based upon empathy and their own moral compass? That happens to be the Obama standard. Or do we want justices who decide cases based on the constitution and the law? That’s the approach that Justice Scalia renewed with vigor,” Grassley said.
Grassley made his comments at the Conservative Political Action Convention last month. For the past four weeks Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has said repeatedly that he will not hold a Judiciary Committee hearing to consider Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Grassley has accused Obama of trying to “stack the courts” so he can “circumvent” congress with executive orders.
“President Obama has imposed on the American people liberal ideas and liberal policies that couldn’t be achieved at the ballot box,” Grassley said at CPAC.
Critics like Harry Reid, the Democratic Leader in the U.S. Senate, have accused Grassley of failing to do his job by refusing to at least hold a hearing on Obama’s nominee.
“This isn’t the senator I’ve come to know over the last three decades…The senator I knew wouldn’t ignore his constitutional duties for the sake of election-year politics,” Reid said recently.
Reid said Grassley is apparently being blindly loyal to future President Donald Trump.
“Senator Grassley is grasping for a rational rationale, anything that will excuse him from not doing his job,” Reid said. “That desperation has now taken Senator Grassley down a very dark path.”
By refusing to even vote on the president’s nominee, Reid said Grassley and his Republican colleagues in the Senate are “on the wrong side of the constitution.”
“The Constitution isn’t some ball that you pick up and take home just because you’re still made at President Obama because he’s the president,” Reid said during a recent speech on the Senate floor.
President Obama this morning nominated 63-year-old Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Garland is the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit. Garland oversaw the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, as well as the so-called “Unabomber” when he worked in the U.S. Justice Department.