In a devastating blow to Democrats hoping to stall the filling of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until next year, Senator Chuck Grassley has indicated he won’t oppose holding hearings for a nominee to fill the vacancy this year.
In a statement to the Des Moines register, Grassley said “Over the years, and as recently as July, I’ve consistently said that taking up and evaluating a nominee in 2020 would be a decision for the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Senate majority leader.”
He added “both have confirmed their intentions to move forward, so that’s what will happen. Once the hearings are underway, it’s my responsibility to evaluate the nominee on the merits, just as I always have.”
Several Democrats had hoped Grassley would side against voting to fill the vacancy before the election as Susan Collins and Elizabeth Murkowski had held to based on his previous statements made in 2018.
With Both Grassley and Cory Gardner ok to move forward, Democrats are running out of potential options for Republican Senators to side with them in blocking the filling of the vacancy during Trump’s term.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney has yet to announce his decision but is expected to do so soon.
Friday, Liz Johnson, Communications Director for Romney, denied a report that the Utah Senator has sided with Democrats on not replacing Justice Ginsburg until after the election.
Jim Dabakis had tweeted “BREAKING: A high-level Romney insider tells me Mitt Romney has committed to not confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after Inauguration Day 2021. #Mittrevenge #utpol”
Liz Johnson replied “This is grossly false.”
She added “Dear twitter and also @JimDabakis: Unless your name is Mitt Romney or you’re his spokesperson, you do not speak for Mitt Romney. #utpol”