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In 2016, with an open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court and a window into the type of justice he’d nominate, the American people elected Donald Trump president of the United States. The vacancy was among the key issues on voters’ minds at the polls.

In 2018, having witnessed President Trump appoint two justices to the Court, as well as the ugly tactics deployed by Senate Democrats during the confirmation process, the American people reaffirmed their support for the President by expanding the Republican majority in the Senate, the body tasked with evaluating the President’s nominees to the court.

Over the years, and as recently as July, I’ve consistently said that taking up and evaluating a nominee in 2020 would be a decision for the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Senate Majority Leader. Both have confirmed their intentions to move forward, so that’s what will happen. Once the hearings are underway, it’s my responsibility to evaluate the nominee on the merits, just as I always have. The Constitution gives the Senate that authority, and the American people’s voices in the most recent election couldn’t be clearer. While there was ambiguity about the American people’s will for the direction of the Supreme Court in 2016 under a divided government, there is no such ambiguity in 2020.

Our colleagues on the other side made clear long ago their intentions to upend norm after norm to hijack the judiciary. From Bork to Estrada to Kavanaugh; from torching the filibuster to threatening justices who rule against their wishes, Senate Democrats have a long, sordid history of politicizing the courts and the confirmation process. Even before the current vacancy, Democrats discussed plans to pack the Supreme Court and eliminate the legislative filibuster, just because they can’t get the results they want at the polls. In this case the people have spoken, putting power to appoint and confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court in one party.

So, make no mistake: if the shoe were on the other foot, Senate Democrats wouldn’t hesitate to use their Constitutional authority and anything else at their disposal to fill this seat.

 

 

Charles Grassley

Author: Charles Grassley

Chuck Grassley of New Hartford has represented Iowa in the United States Senate since 1980.