Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley met with President Obama at the White House today to discuss the current Supreme Court vacancy in addition to a number of other issues. Grassley and Republicans on the Committee sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week stating they will not hold hearings for an Obama nominee. After the meeting at the White House today, the position of the Judiciary Committee remains the same.
“The American people deserve the right to be heard. It’s the fair and reasonable approach. They made their voices heard in 2014 when they signaled they wanted a departure from President Obama’s policies by revoking the Democrats’ Senate majority and expanding Republican ranks in the House of Representatives. Now, with the stakes as high as ever and the political season underway, we should hear from them again," Grassley released in a statement. “There’s a growing feeling of isolation among a lot of Americans who feel left out by political elites. Executive orders and liberal courts are trampling on religious liberty and property ownership, for example, and snubbing the rule of law and endangering the right to keep and bear arms. The executive branch is actively using the judicial branch of government to get around Congress and undermine the process of representative government."
“A recent Gallup poll documents this frustration that I hear expressed at the grassroots of Iowa. In the six years since Obama has appointed two justices, the American people’s disapproval of the Supreme Court jumped from 28 percent disapproval in 2009 to 50 percent disapproval in 2015," Grassley continued. “Whether everybody in the meeting today wanted to admit it, we all know that considering a nomination in the middle of a heated presidential campaign is bad for the nominee, bad for the court, bad for the process, and ultimately bad for the nation. It’s time for the people to voice their opinion about the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government.”
President Obama hasn't named a nominee to replace the late-Justice Antonin Scalia, who died two weeks ago, but said during a press conference he will do so "in due time."