Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Tuesday that if he is in charge of the committee in 2020, they would not confirm another Supreme Court Justice.
“If I’m chairman, they won’t take it up. No, because I pledged that in 2016, that if the ball’s the same as it is,” the Iowa Republican said on Tuesday.
“Now, if somebody else is the chairman of the committee, they’ll have to decide for themselves. But that’s a decision I made a long time ago.”
This question has been posed because of the 2016 nomination by former President Barack Obama of Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left byJustice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016.
That nomination was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell until after the presidential election that year.
That vacancy was eventually filled by conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, due to the nomination by President Donald Trump.
During his interview on “Fox News Sunday,” McConnell wouldn’t commit to whether he would do the same thing again during the next presidential election.
“We’ll see if there’s a vacancy in 2020,” he said.
“The tradition going back to the 1880s has been if a vacancy occurs in a presidential election year, and there is a different party in control of the Senate than the presidency, it is not filled,” McConnell said during a speech Monday.
Should Grassley decide to leave as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, there’s a possibility that he could be replaced by GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, according to the New York Post.
Graham said last week that if he were the chair, he would wait in 2020 to fill an opening
“If an opening comes in the last year of President Donald Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election,” Graham said.