Grassley Dares Dems To Go Nuclear, Threatens More Scalias

AP

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee dared Democrats to “go ahead” and eliminate the filibuster for nominees via the nuclear option, warning them that a 51-vote threshold would make it easier for a future GOP to appoint judges like Antonin Scalia.

“Many of those on the other side who are clamoring for rules change and almost falling over themselves to do it have never served a single day in the minority,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Tuesday in a floor speech. “All I can say is this — be careful what you wish for.”

“So if the Democrats are bent on changing the rules, then I say go ahead,” he said. “There are a lot more Scalias and [Clarence] Thomases that we’d love to put on the bench. The nominees we’d nominate and put on the bench with 51 votes would interpret the constitution as it was written.”

His remarks came ahead of a procedural vote to advance the nomination of Nina Pillard to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which Republicans have threatened to filibuster. Sixty votes are required to move forward. Republicans filibustered another nominee, Patricia Millett, two weeks ago.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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