During his Capitol Hill Report on Tuesday, Sen. Charles Grassley spoke at length about the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. Grassley said he has received a lot of feedback from Iowans, and wanted to address some of what he has been hearing.
Four years ago, Grassley said he would not hold a hearing on nominee Merrick Garland. Earlier this year, Grassley was asked many times at his town hall meetings if he would do the same thing in 2020.
“And I said yes,” Grassley said.
But, he said, that was asked in terms of if he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I’m getting all sorts of comments from Iowans, both by letter and by letters to the editor and stuff like that, ‘How come you’re going ahead with this nomination,’” Grassley said. “Well, I’m not chairman of the committee. Sen. (Lindsay) Graham is chairman of the committee and he has a different view than I have. I’m a member of the committee, so obviously I’m going to represent Iowans when I’m called upon to represent Iowans. But Graham is calling the hearing and that’s why I have to say that I’m not being inconsistent.”
He added that seven out of eight times in election years, going back to the Whig Party, the Senate has confirmed nominees. There was just one exception and that nominee had “ethical problems” and would have never been confirmed anyway.
Grassley noted the split between the White House and the Senate in 2016 and noted the same Party controls both the White House and Senate in 2020.
“So, that’s how it’s different than it was in 2016,” he said.
As for Barrett’s nomination, Grassley said he has “every reason to believe she’ll be approved.”
“Obviously I voted for her for the Seventh Circuit,” he said. “I’m leaning in favor of her. I hate to say I am an absolute yes because I usually wait until after the hearing. But, one way of saying it, unless there’s some sort of an earthquake thing that comes to the surface, that nobody expects to happen, I would expect her to be approved by the Senate, with my vote included.”
Grassley said Barrett is an “excellent candidate” based on her writings from before she was on the Seventh Circuit as well as her opinions while on the Seventh Circuit.