Chief Justice Roberts decried blocking judicial nominations in 2010

Chief Justice Roberts decried blocking judicial nominations in 2010
© Getty Images

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in 2010 decried Congress for blocking judicial nominees, calling it a “persistent problem” in his year-end report of the federal judiciary.

"Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes," he wrote at the time.


The remarks came as Roberts requested funding from Congress for the court as part of its annual budget request.

Justice Antonin Scalia died on Saturday, igniting a partisan fight over whether the GOP Senate should consider a replacement nominated by President Obama or hold off until after the presidential election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Trump again vetoes resolution blocking national emergency for border wall Trump invites congressional leaders to meeting on Turkey MORE (R-Ky.) and other Republicans said the next president should be the one to choose Scalia’s successor. This would allow voters to have a decision on the court, McConnell argued. 

Democrats say the Senate should consider a nominee from Obama and note that he has nearly a year left in office.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump's latest plan to boost ethanol miffs both corn groups and the fossil fuel industry Syria furor underscores Trump's isolation GOP braces for impeachment brawl MORE (R-Iowa) on Tuesday said he hasn't made a decision about whether to hold a confirmation hearing for a nominee from Obama.

“I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions. ... In other words, take it a step at a time," he told reporters in Iowa, according to Radio Iowa.

On Saturday, Grassley said it was “standard practice” for the Senate not to confirm Supreme Court nominees during an election year.