Sen. Grassley says that meeting with President Biden on SCOTUS nomination was a success

Sen. Chuck Grassley met with President Joe Biden on Tuesday to advise the president on his Supreme Court pick.


Katina Zentz

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., has a conversation at the Iowa State Capitol on Monday, January 13, 2020. The House convened and leaders in the Iowa House of Representatives gave opening remarks to preview their priorities for the 2020 session.

Meg Doster, Politics Reporter

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that he considers his Tuesday meeting with President Joe Biden over filling the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court a success.

Grassley said he gave general advice to Biden about what sort of person to nominate to the Supreme Court. 

“We want somebody that’s going to interpret the law, not make law,” Grassley said. “Under the checks and balances of government, that’s our responsibility to interpret the law. It’s our responsibility to make law and we should let judges or justices usurp the constitutional power of Congress.”

Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the committee’s chairman Dick Durbin, met with Biden on Tuesday to discuss the court vacancy. 

Biden has said he plans to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, which would be a historic first. He has yet to name a nominee. The nominee, if confirmed, will be replacing Justice Stephen Breyer, who last week announced his plans to retire. 

U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger have been some of the many names floated as possible successors to Bryer. 

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Grassley said that during the Tuesday meeting, Biden had indicated that he hadn’t started interviewing candidates yet.

“We need to nominate first, then you get the nominee,” Grassley said. “I’m going to be focused not on man or woman, or race. I’m going to be focused on the qualifications.”

Grassley said that Biden has an appreciation for what senators do to confirm Supreme Court Justices, since Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley served as chair of the same committee from 2015 to 2019, and since 2021 has served on the committee as the ranking member. 

In 2016, Grassley earned the ire of Democrats when he refused to hold hearings on Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the court until after the election, when former President tDonald Trump was able to nominate Justice Neil Gorsuch.