Grassley Intends To Obstruct Supreme Court Nomination

[Note from BFIA: Click here to see Grassley’s schedule of town hall meetings this week.]

Des Moines, IA — The Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition released the following statement today in response to Senator Chuck Grassley’s promise to delay a Supreme Court nomination:

“It is with our deepest condolences that we recognize the passing of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. While we may have had disagreements with his opinions and legal philosophy, his contribution to American jurisprudence and his commitment to public service are undeniable.”

“With the gravity of the current cases on the docket, it is necessary that we have a fully staffed Supreme Court. Even Justice Scalia recognized this, pointing out during a discussion of recusal in Cheney v. US District Court of DC that the court proceeding with only eight justices raises “the possibility that, by reason of a tie vote, it will find itself unable to resolve the significant legal issue presented by the case.”

“Further, Senator Chuck Grassley needs to take his constitutional obligations seriously. The Constitution directs the President to make this appointment and the Senate to provide advice and consent during the process. Promising to stall any nominee, regardless of their qualifications, is not “advice and consent.” It is blatant partisanship and obstructionism.”

“Grassley’s statements seem to contradict even themselves as of recent regarding judicial nominees. This week he claimed, “The fact of the matter is that it’s been standard practice over the last nearly 80 years that Supreme Court nominees are not nominated and confirmed during a presidential election year.” While back in 2008 during a Congressional hearing on the so called “Thurmond Rule” (the unofficial rule that lifetime judicial appointments shouldn’t be made during the lame duck months of a presidency) he had stated unequivocally, “The reality is that the Senate has never stopped confirming judicial nominees during the last few months of a president’s term,” and went on to call the Thurmond Rule “plain bunk.”

“His statements are further contradicted by the fact that over 17 Supreme Court justices have been confirmed during Presidential election years, with the most recent example being Justice Anthony Kennedy confirmed on February 3rd, 1988.”

“The American people deserve better than this. Whether it’s women’s health, LGBT equality, workers rights, immigration, or environmental impacts; they deserve a court capable of resolving the tough legal issues of our time. The longer we wait for justice, the more rulings will come before an understaffed court that, in the words of the late Justice Scalia, will be “unable to resolve the significant legal issue presented by the case.” This is unacceptable. Justice should not wait for partisan politics.”

The Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition is focused on ensuring that the federal judiciary is representative of America’s diverse population and ending the judicial vacancy crisis so that every American can have his or her day in court. Why Courts Matter Iowa is led by Iowa Citizen Action Network, Americans for Democratic Action Iowa, Progress Iowa, and One Iowa.

This entry was posted in Charles Grassley, SCOTUS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.