Reid lashes out at Grassley for Supreme Court stance

Greg Nash

Sen. Harry ReidHarry ReidDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Senate passes Puerto Rico debt relief bill MORE on Tuesday warned that Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyImmigration protesters interrupt Jeh Johnson hearing Pollster: Clinton leads in 5 battlegrounds Overnight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | Snowden's robot | Trump's big digital push 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 SchumerFormer Gillibrand aide wins NY House primary Senate faces critical vote on Puerto Rico Juan Williams: GOP sounds the sirens over Trump 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 TrumpMajority of Democrats want third term for Obama Former CIA chief shuts down Trump's calls for waterboarding Why some Republican women won't be voting for Trump MORE and Ted CruzTed CruzMike Lee: Trump 'accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK' Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office Kasich touts poll showing he does better against Clinton than Trump MORE want,” Reid said, referring to the leading Republican presidential candidates. “Remember Trump said, ‘Delay, delay, delay.’”

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