Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll likely use the opportunity of chairing the confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee to forward a personal crusade.
For years, Grassley has pushed to have videocameras in federal courtrooms and the Republican says he’ll probably quiz Judge Brett Kavanaugh for his opinions on the topic. “They aren’t the most important questions I ask, but I usually bring it up when I get an opportunity to,” Grassley says. “Sometimes, it brings a chuckle about because I’ve been on this kick for so long of a period of time.”
Grassley says he’s tried to make the argument for cameras in the courtroom with several previous nominees who’ve come before his Judiciary Committee. “You kind of get an answer like, ‘Well, what would you expect me to say to you,'” Grassley says, laughing. “I’m not sure whether they give me a candid answer or not.”
He maintains allowing cameras in the courtrooms will make the federal judiciary more transparent, accountable and accessible. “It’s something that I’m going to continue to promote,” Grassley says. “I might not be successful at it, but every opportunity, I bring it up and I’ll probably bring it up with Judge Kavanaugh and if I don’t bring it up in our oral discussion, I’ll probably submit a question for answer in writing.” Last week, Grassley asked the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to make court proceedings more open by immediately releasing audio from oral arguments. Audio from those arguments is now released at the end of the week.