WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley's message on the Supreme Court nomination process has been somewhat muddled in recent days, as he has spoken to Iowa constituents in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death. A look at some of his statements this week:
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, as reported by The Des Moines Register
"I wouldn't make any prognostication on anything about the future because there's so many balls in the air when those things are considered," Grassley said in a phone interview.
SATURDAY EVENING, 8:49 p.m., statement from Grassley's office
"The fact of the matter is that it's been standard practice over the last nearly 80 years that Supreme Court nominees are not nominated and confirmed during a presidential election year. Given the huge divide in the country, and the fact that this president, above all others, has made no bones about his goal to use the courts to circumvent Congress and push through his own agenda, it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court justice."
TUESDAY, on a conference call with reporters, recorded by Radio Iowa
"I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions" on whether to hold a hearing, Grassley told reporters. "In other words, take it a step at a time."
THURSDAY, op-ed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in The Washington Post
"Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia."