Senate Judiciary to debate issue of Supreme Court nomination

Senate Judiciary to debate issue of Supreme Court nomination
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley: 'Good chance' Senate panel will consider bills to protect Mueller Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Iowa) said the Senate Judiciary Committee will have a “full-blown debate” Thursday on whether to hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nomination.

“If you want to hear a full-blown debate on this issue, I think we’ll probably have one before our committee tomorrow while we’re also considering three of four judges and a piece of legislation as well,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Senate Judiciary Committee said the debate is expected to take place during the committee’s regularly scheduled business meeting in the morning. The judges being considered are to fill vacancies on the United States Court of International Trade and the United States District Court of Hawaii.

Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chair, made the announcement during an oversight hearing of the U.S. Department of Justice at which Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified on Wednesday morning.

Grassley was responding to Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Live coverage: Sanders rolls out single-payer bill MORE (D-Vt.), who criticized Republicans for meeting behind closed doors and voting to block any Obama nominee without any input from Democrats.

“I assume that the Democrat members have their caucus to talk about how their members feel about respective issues, and I’ve never been invited to a Democrat Caucus, and I don’t think that Democrat caucus is open to the public,” Grassley said. “Tomorrow, I think we’re going to have debate.”

The committee was expected to discuss a potential nominee at its business meeting last Thursday, but Grassley postponed the discussions after Democrats refused to allow him to hold the meeting off the Senate floor.