The discussion surrounding Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and the Republican’s stand on not holding a hearing on a new U.S. Supreme Court justice until after the election continues on both sides.
MoveOn.org has launched an online video and put up a billboard in Des Moines, which spokesperson Jo Comerford hopes will sway Grassley to change his mind.
“With this release of the video and the billboard and a lot of social media, campaign graphics and video clip, Move-on and our members are speaking directly to Senator Charles Grassley and asking him to do his job and hold a hearing and a vote on Supreme Court judge Merrick Garland.” Comerford says. Comerford says the group’s campaign uses former Grassley supporters who believe he has made the wrong decision.
“And our main thinking here is that Senator Grassley works for the people of Iowa. He’s been proud to work for the people of Iowa,” Comerford says, “The people of Iowa send the senator to Washington to do their business…and they are asking the senator directly to do his job.”
Comerford says her group interprets the U.S. Constitution as requiring Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee that he chairs to take action on nominees from the president. “The Senate gets to advise and consent. There is nowhere in the Constitution where it says the Senate gets to blockade and outright refuse and even consider a nominee, that’s not in the Constitution. So, this is all about a GOP power grab if you will — a partisan blockade,” according to Comerford.
She says they hope this approach will lead to action. “Iowans who have voted and volunteered for Senator Grassley in the past and are asking him directly to do his job — and it’s not about them. It’s actually about entrenching in some sort of misguided party loyalty,” Comerford says.
On the other side of the argument, the Iowa chapter of Concerned Women for America (CWA) has dropped off petitions they say contain thousands of signatures in support of Grassley’s stand. CWA state director, Tamara Scott, says they want to show how much support Grassley has.
“Iowans are standing strong with the senator. They’re thankful that he is standing strong for the two-pronged Constitutional process for Supreme Court nominations,” Scott says. Scott has a different view of what is required for a vote on the nominee. “The Senate has the advice and consent. So, they can either consent and give way, or they can hold back and not support the nomination,” Scott says. “And this is imperative — its’ the checks and balances of the system.”
Scott says the effort to push a nominee through before the elections is political move by the president. “The Supreme Court was never intended to be the extension of the administration to push social agendas. Instead it is supposed to be a third and separate branch of the government to protect justice and uphold the Constitution. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen with Grassley taking the stance that he is,” Scott says.
Scott says those who are pushing for Grassley to hold a hearing are ignoring past precedent. “The people on the other side should take a look back at recent history. I think Vice President (Joe) Biden is now on video across social media and the mainstream media that is brave enough to show, he was espousing the same idea that we not during an election year — when the fervor and the heat of the campaign cycle is open and going — that we not enter into this,” Scott says. “And also there is precedent, that only in the recent history have we felt the need to replace justices more quickly.”
Other groups have shown up at Grassley’s Iowa offices and his public events and asked him to change his mind on the Supreme Court nominee.