Grassley on Supreme Court stand: I don't care if I go down in history
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for minimum wage Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks MORE (R-Iowa) says he doesn't care how history judges him for refusing to consider President Obama's next nominee for the Supreme Court.

“Do you think I spend my days wondering about how Chuck Grassley will go down in history?” he told reporters on Wednesday, according to The Des Moines Register.


"I don’t care if I ever go down in history,” added Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I’m here to do my job.”

Grassley waved off criticism from Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSanders hires veteran progressive operative to manage 2020 bid Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Klobuchar: 'I don't remember' conversation with Reid over alleged staff mistreatment MORE (D-Nev.) that he ranks among the “most obstructionist” lawmakers ever.

“I’ve been a leader on the Judiciary Committee for the last five years, first as ranking member and now as chairman,” he said.

"I think Congress has passed more than 320 judges and only disapproved two,” Grassley continued about his tenure. "So, if I wanted to obstruct, I could obstruct. But I think this proves we haven’t been doing that.”

Senate Republican Judiciary members vowed Tuesday not to hold hearings or votes on any nominee Obama taps to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

GOP lawmakers say the seat should be filled after the 2016 election, a stance Democrats have blasted.

Grassley said nominating a new justice would be an exercise in futility for Obama.

“Just think of the waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said. "If you’ve already got the Senate saying this ought to be put off — and the important words are let the people have a voice — then you’d be wasting that million dollars if it’s already a forgone conclusion.

“Not very often do the people have a chance to express the view on, ‘Do you want a very liberal person put on the court or a conservative person put on the court?’” Grassley said, urging that the nomination wait until after the election. 

“So you’ve got an opportunity [with Democratic presidential front-runner] Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Roger Stone invokes gag order in new fundraiser MORE on one hand and whoever our Republican nominee is on the other hand. It highlights the importance of the Supreme Court."