Reid lashes out at Grassley for Supreme Court stance
© Greg Nash

Sen. Harry ReidHarry ReidHopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs If Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first Senate confirms Mulvaney to be Trump’s budget chief MORE on Tuesday warned that Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck Grassley­ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate Republicans at risk in 2018 steering clear of town halls MORE will go down as the "most obstructionist" Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in history for denying a hearing to a Supreme Court nominee from President Obama.

The Democratic leader said Grassley (R-Iowa) would eclipse chairmen of the panel during the 1960s who blocked civil rights legislation.

“Hard to comprehend, but it appears Sen. Grassley’s going to follow through on this plan and go down in history as the most obstructionist Judiciary chair in the history of this country,” Reid said.

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“That says a lot, because we knew about Judiciary Committee chairs during the civil rights era,” Reid said. “I can’t imagine that Sen. Grassley, who I’ve served with in Congress for more than three decades — is this the legacy that he wants?"

Reid's remarks referenced but did not name Sen. James Eastland, a conservative Democrat from Mississippi who was a renowned opponent of racial integration in the 1960s. The Judiciary Committee became a “graveyard for civil rights legislation” under his watch, according to a historical summary on the Senate’s website.

In 1964, then-Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) brought the landmark Civil Rights Act directly to the floor to circumvent Eastland.

Reid and his top deputy, Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerEllison holds edge in DNC race Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump defends Flynn, blasts leaks | Yahoo fears further breach Overnight Finance: Trump's Labor pick withdraws | Ryan tries to save tax plan | Trump pushes tax reform with retailers MORE (D-N.Y.), were besides themselves with anger and frustration Tuesday after Senate Republicans unequivocally rejected their calls for a hearing on the Supreme Court vacancy.

Democrats are focusing their fire on Grassley in hopes of moving him and that he might then in turn put pressure on the GOP leadership.

McConnell on Tuesday said he would not even meet with Obama’s nominee.

Reid accused Republicans of destroying the fabric of the Senate by refusing to even consider President Obama’s nominee to the high court.

“They’re threatening to abandon the Senate’s responsibilities. It’s what Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: Majority of Americans fear US will become involved in another major war Ellison holds edge in DNC race WH adviser Stephen Miller: 'Nothing wrong' with Trump travel order MORE and Ted CruzTed CruzA guide to the committees: Senate Trump wants to cut red tape? He should start with the CFPB. Why President Trump should choose Maureen Ohlhausen to lead the FTC MORE want,” Reid said, referring to the leading Republican presidential candidates. “Remember Trump said, ‘Delay, delay, delay.’”