Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) acknowledged a flaw in his unyielding stance that the next president should fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court, saying Thursday on a radio show that it was a “gamble” to wait and see what kind of justice a President Donald Trump would nominate, as reported by the Huffington Post.
Asked on Iowa’s “In Depth” whether the current GOP blockade was risky since President Obama’s pick Merrick Garland was more moderate than the type of judge Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would likely appoint, Grassley reiterated the Republican line that the hardline position is about letting the voters have a voice.
“For people like me that want someone of a [Justice Antonin] Scalia variety to be on the Supreme Court or at least tending in that direction, we’ve got to know that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, it won’t be a Scalia-type person. If Trump’s elected president, it probably is a little more unknown than if there’s a [Sen. Ted] Cruz elected president, or a Kasich elected president” Grassley said, before musing on what Trump has said about his potential nominees.
“I would have to admit it’s a gamble,” he said.
Grassley is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which typically hosts hearings and committee votes on Supreme Court nominees before they move to a full Senate vote. He and the other Republicans on the committee signed a letter saying they would not host a hearing or vote for any nominee put forth by Obama, though some Republicans including Grassley have since granted Garland a courtesy meeting.
“I haven’t second-guessed myself,” Grassley said. “It’s a gamble on who’s going to be the next president of the United States. I second-guess that. But I guess that’s a point that I’m willing to take.”