As reported by DesMoinesRegister
Iowa’s two Republican senators offered praise for Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday night after President Donald Trump formally nominated him to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees to come before the Senate,” Grassley said in a statement following Trump’s announcement. “His credentials are well known, and he’s served with distinction as a judge on the esteemed D.C. Circuit for more than a decade. He is a superb mainstream candidate worthy of the Senate’s consideration.”
Sen. Joni Ernst said in a statement she looks forward to the confirmation process.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a highly-qualified, well-respected justice committed to the rule of law,” she said. “He deserves a respectful and timely confirmation, and I stand ready to offer advice and consent to Judge Kavanaugh as he moves through the confirmation process.”
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley will play an outsized role in the process, overseeing Kavanaugh’s confirmation in an effort to once again put a conservative justice on the bench.
In 2016, Grassley led the effort to block then-President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court following the February death of Antonin Scalia. He and his fellow Republicans argued the vacancy should be filled by the next president after voters had their say in the November election.
Grassley has said publicly he plans to move forward with confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh because the nomination did not occur in a presidential election year.
“As we have always done when reviewing nominees for lifetime-appointed judgeships, the Senate Judiciary Committee will conduct a fair and comprehensive evaluation of the nominee’s background and qualifications, followed by hearings where we’ll hear directly from the nominee as we fulfill our advice and consent responsibility,” he said in a statement Monday.
In an interview last week with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, Ernst said the rule is appropriate and praised Grassley’s work in staving off confirmation of Garland, and instead ushering in the Trump-nominated Neil Gorsuch.
“I think he did very well in making sure that all of the senators, Republican and Democrat, had enough time to visit with the nominee one on one in their own offices as well as during the full open hearing process,” she said of Gorsuch’s confirmation timeline.
Ernst said the Senate should continue to follow the precedent it has now set, even if another seat opens up on the court during the 2020 presidential election year.
“I think it would be absolutely fair,” she said.