Grassley Agrees To Meet With Obama’s SCOTUS Nominee

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Thursday he won’t rule out meeting with President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, but is standing by his decision not to consider a nomination until a new president is sworn in.

The Judiciary Committee chairman and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear they won’t schedule a hearing to fill the vacancy left by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in the wake of his death in February, saying the American people deserve to have a say in the political direction the Supreme Court takes.

“If I can meet with a dictator in Uganda, I can surely meet with a decent person in America,”he told CNN, referring to Obama’s pick, Judge Merrick Garland. “I want to make it clear that the message we told him on the phone yesterday I will tell him face-to-face.”

McConnell told the nominee he won’t meet with him in a phone call Wednesday afternoon.

“As Chairman Grassley and I declared weeks ago, and reiterated personally to President Obama, the Senate will continue to observe the Biden Rule so that the American people have a voice in this momentous decision,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday. The so-called “Biden Rule” is a reference to Biden’s comments in 1992 urging the president not to nominate a Supreme Court justice in an election year.

“The American people may well elect a President who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration,” McConnell added. “The next  may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.”

Democrats have slammed the decision – despite their call to block former President George W. Bush’s nominees during his tenure – saying it’s the Senate’s duty to hold a hearing.

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