Senate

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

Greg Nash

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (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 McConnell (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 Trump’s current term.

“Because I pledged that in 2016,” Grassley said. “That’s a decision I made a long time ago.”

{mosads}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 Garland 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 Graham (R-S.C.) said last week.

Republicans have been celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed in a narrow 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday.

Tags 2020 vacancy Brett Kavanaugh Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Justice Brett Kavanaugh Lindsey Graham Merrick Garland Mitch McConnell Senator Chuck Grassley Senator Lindsey Graham Senator Mitch McConnell the Senate Judiciary Committee the supreme court

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