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

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Trump: 'Great to see' Pelosi plan to lower drug prices Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices 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 McConnellDC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Overnight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts 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 TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' 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 GarlandSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Gorsuch: Those who don't have 'great confidence in America' should 'look elsewhere' Trump stacking lower courts 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 GrahamSenate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions Trump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE (R-S.C.) said last week.

Republicans have been celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughTrump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Trump decries whistleblower story as 'another media disaster' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's new controversy MORE, who was confirmed in a narrow 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday.