FEATURED:

Grassley says he wouldn't consider a Supreme Court nomination in 2020

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October MORE (R-Iowa) says that his panel wouldn't consider a Supreme Court nomination if a vacancy appeared in 2020, breaking from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEx-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Democrats slide in battle for Senate MORE (R-Ky.).

"If I'm chairman they won't take it up," Grassley said when asked during an interview with Fox News's Martha MacCallum if the committee would consider a nomination in the last year of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE's current term.

"Because I pledged that in 2016," Grassley said. "That's a decision I made a long time ago."

ADVERTISEMENT

McConnell has said he may be open to confirming a nominee brought forward in the next presidential election year, though he noted that doing so would be highly unusual.

"We’ll see if there is a vacancy in 2020," McConnell said on Monday.

However, he added, "You have to go back to 1880 to find the last time a Senate controlled by a party different from the president filled a vacancy on the Supreme Court that was created in the middle of a presidential election year."

Critics have gone after Republicans for blocking the confirmation of Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandMajor overhauls needed to ensure a violent revolution remains fictional It’s Mitch McConnell’s Washington – and we’re just living in it Ending the judicial Wheel of Fortune: The need for 18-year Supreme Court terms MORE in 2016, President Obama's final year in office.

Republicans at the time defended their decision to not hold hearings or a vote on Garland by citing the 2016 presidential race, arguing the winner of that election should instead get to fill the seat.

Grassley is not the only Republican on the Judiciary Committee who has said they would not consider a Supreme Court nominee in 2020.

“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election," Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi's death The Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia Trump should stick to his guns and close failed South Carolina nuclear MOX project MORE (R-S.C.) said last week.

Republicans have been celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughEx-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Pastor tears into Evangelicals for supporting Trump due to abortion stance Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia MORE, who was confirmed in a narrow 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday.