The Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) insisted that any Supreme Court justice considering retirement do so immediately due to the upcoming midterm elections.
Partial transcript as follows:
HEWITT: You are also responsible for it, you and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are the hardest-working senators there. And I want to go through the Judiciary Committee record. Congratulations on it. I am genuinely impressed. Are you prepping for a Supreme Court vacancy this summer, Chairman Grassley?
GRASSLEY: Hugh, it doesn’t do any good to prep for that stuff. I just hope that if there is going to be a nominee, I hope it’s now or within two or three weeks, because we’ve got to get this done before the election, and there’s generally about 50, 60, 70 days between the time a president nominates somebody, and we get a hearing in committee, and then another two weeks before it gets to the floor. And this has to be done before the November election. So my message to any one of the 9 Supreme Court justices, if you’re thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday.
HEWITT: Okay, received. Let me talk about the record for my audience. 1 Supreme Court justice nominated and confirmed, 16 Appeals Court judges have been confirmed by your committee and the whole Senate. An additional 14 have been nominated. 12 are awaiting nominees. 17 district court judges have been confirmed. 63 are nominated. Lots more vacancies there. Now to compare that overall, in two terms, Bill Clinton had 62 Appeals Court judges. You’ve already done 16. President Obama had 49 over two terms. W. had 61. You’ve already done 16. Of those 14 that have been nominated, how many of those 14 do you expect will get votes by the election?
GRASSLEY: Oh, I think all of them if they’re circuit court nominees. I’m, what I’m afraid of, we don’t get the district court people done. There’s about 30 district court people on the agenda right now, and I have pleaded with McConnell to work nights, to work Saturdays and weekends, and put the pressure on the Democrats. And we’ve got to have every Republican around and even cancel a recess so we can clear the calendar of these important nominees. Otherwise, all the hard work I’m doing in committee is for naught.
HEWITT: I agree. I want them, I would go round the clock, too, on this. Now there an additional 12 vacancies on the circuits. This is what concerns me the most – Supreme Court first, then the circuits. Do you expect that you will get a nominee for every vacancy in the circuit soon?
GRASSLEY: We, Hugh, listen. I have conversation fairly regularly with Don McGahn. And my staff has conversations with his staff on a regular basis. So we’re telling people that we’re going to process them just as fast as they get them up here. During January and February, we didn’t have enough to process. And I’ll give you our goal. Our goal is five district judges and at least one circuit judge and possibly two every other Wednesday between now and Christmas.
HEWITT: That is terrific.
GRASSLEY: And just as soon as they get, just as soon as they get them up here, we’ll process them.