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

Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump presses GOP to change Senate rules Only thing Defense’s UFO probe proves is power of political favors Nevada Democrat accused of sexual harassment reconsiders retirement: report MORE on Tuesday warned that Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica attracts scrutiny | House passes cyber response team bill | What to know about Russian cyberattacks on energy grid Overnight Finance: Congress races to finish .2T funding bill | What to look for in omnibus | AT&T merger trial kicks off | Stocks fall on tech troubles | Trump targets Venezuelan cryptocurrency | Record SEC whistleblower payout 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.

“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 (Chuck) Ellis SchumerConscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise Dem super PAC launches ad defending Donnelly on taxes 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 John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian The case for a new branch of the military: United States Space Force The problem with hindsight MORE want,” Reid said, referring to the leading Republican presidential candidates. “Remember Trump said, ‘Delay, delay, delay.’”