ICYMI: Democrats' Supreme Court Double Standard
Democrats' Supreme Court double standard
By Sen. Chuck Grassley
“We will keep our word” and put Judge Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was an intellectual giant and a revered defender of the Constitution and the limited role of the judiciary in our Republic. His contributions to the court and to broader judicial philosophy will endure for years. Now, we’ll keep our word to the American people to consider a nominee by the new president.
The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Scalia’s seat is the product of the most transparent and democratic judicial nomination process in recent history. On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump’s list of 21 potential nominees for the vacancy provided rare insight into who could be the next justice in a Trump presidency. The vacancy was on the minds of many voters as they elected Trump to be our next president. According to the Pew Research Center, 65% of voters considered the vacancy very important as they went to the polls.
Prior to the president’s announcement, the minority leader called on him to nominate a “mainstream” candidate. There can be no serious debate that Judge Gorsuch meets that standard. He’s been praised by legal experts across the political spectrum as a mainstream jurist who applies the law without regard to person, politics or his own preferences. President Obama’s former solicitor general called him “one of the most thoughtful and brilliant judges to have served our nation over the last century.” That’s high praise. In 2006 Judge Gorsuch sailed through the Senate with unanimous approval. Thirty-one sitting senators were in the Senate when Gorsuch was confirmed, including 12 Democrats. Nonetheless, we have promised a rigorous and thorough review of this nominee, and that’s what we’ll do.
The committee will follow the established confirmation timeline for modern Supreme Court vacancies, with a hearing roughly six weeks after the initial nomination. That is more than sufficient time for senators to review his record.
Unfortunately, some Senate Democrats signaled plans to block any nomination made by the newly-elected president even before he announced his nomination. They’re doing so after criticizing Republicans for taking a principled position about a lame duck president that was advocated by Democrats for decades.
Instead, we will keep our word and we will fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.