The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday that he expected a new vacancy to open on the Supreme Court within months.
“I would expect a resignation this summer,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said at a National Association of Manufacturers event in Muscatine, Iowa, the Muscatine Journal reported.
Grassley made the comment in response to a question about the court during a Q&A at the event, according to the paper. He said a resignation was “rumored,” and that he expected President Donald Trump’s next nominee to the high court to be picked from the same list as Justice Neil Gorsuch.
“I don’t know about racial and ethnic divisions, but there’s some very good females on there that would make good Supreme Court Justices as well,” he said, according to the paper.
Grassley was part of the party-line vote to change the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees on April 6, after Democrats attempted to block then-Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch from receiving a vote. Grassley was also, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, at the lead of Republicans’ refusal to even consider former President Obama’s nominee in early 2016 to the court, Merrick Garland.
On that refusal, Grassley said Tuesday that, “[i]f there’s a vacancy in the last year of a presidency, people ought to have a voice.”
He pointed to a hypothetical scenario outlined by then-Sen. Joe Biden in June 1992; that if a vacancy opened up on the court during that summer, “President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”
“I took the same view that Democrats did,” Grassley said. “You can be sure the Democrats are going to remind me of that.”