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

Sen. Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE on Tuesday warned that Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee GOP to kill language exempting staff from new ObamaCare repeal bill House cyber chairman wants to bolster workforce 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 SchumerAngus King: Schumer is in a 'difficult place' Schumer: NYC should refuse to pay for Trump’s security Reagan's 'voodoo economics' are precisely what America needs 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 TrumpSeven key players for Trump on immigration Spicer: Media coverage of Trump has not been fair Kasich finds it hard to rule out 2020 MORE and Ted CruzTed CruzKasich finds it hard to rule out 2020 Trump in campaign mode at NRA convention Trump’s hands are tied on 9th Circuit MORE want,” Reid said, referring to the leading Republican presidential candidates. “Remember Trump said, ‘Delay, delay, delay.’”