Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has handled the current Supreme Court vacancy about as badly as humanly possible. The result has been an ignominious mess
without precedent in American history.
The Iowa Republican, whose 2016 re-election bid is suddenly a lot less obvious than it was a few months ago, seems to realize that things aren't going well. Two weeks ago, Grassley acknowledged that he's facing the toughest campaign cycle of his lengthy career, and he blamed his political difficulties on "the Supreme Court issue
Donald Trump's rise as the Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee complicates "the Supreme Court issue," of course, since in practical terms, Grassley and his GOP colleagues are imposing a blockade in order to empower Trump to make the selection. Senate Republicans, in other words, are executing an unpopular strategy in order to help an unpopular candidate.
Grassley conceded last week that the entire gambit is a "gamble
," since it could mean Hillary Clinton nominating a younger, more progressive jurist. But as the Des Moines Register reported
this week, it's a gamble the Iowa Republican is prepared to make.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday he thinks Donald Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee for president, would nominate the "right type of people" to the U.S. Supreme Court. [...] "Based upon the type of people he'd be looking for, I think I would expect the right type of people to be nominated by him to the Supreme Court," Grassley said.
Is that so.
It didn't take long for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to pounce on this, sending out a press statement yesterday with a subject line that read, "Do GOP Senators Agree Trump Would Nominate 'Right Type' to Supreme Court?"
"As vulnerable GOP incumbents and candidates continue to double down on their promise to support Donald Trump, the consequences of their refusal to do their jobs and fill the vacant Supreme Court seat have become crystal clear: Republicans want Trump to nominate the next Supreme Court justice. Apparently, that's completely fine for Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley, who said he believes Trump would nominate the 'right type' of justice. That's right, the leader of the Senate's obstructionist strategy believes that the man who refused to condemn the KKK and argued for punishing women for getting abortions believes he will pick the 'right type' of justice. "But we have to wonder, do his fellow obstructionist Senators Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr and John McCain agree that the divisive misogynist Donald Trump will nominate the 'right type' of justice?"
That need not be a rhetorical question. Chuck Grassley, the in-over-his-head chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has now publicly expressed confidence in Donald Trump's ability to choose the "right type" of Supreme Court justice.
It'd be fascinating to know whether or not Grassley's GOP colleagues agree with the senator's assessment. Don't be surprised if they're pressed for an answer sometime soon.