Charles Grassley

GOP Senate Moving Obama's Judges Slower than Democrats Moved Bush's

By this same point in Bush's last two years, the Democratic Judiciary Committee had already advanced ten judicial nominees to the full Senate.
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Thursday is Test Day for Senate Judiciary Republicans

Will Senate Republicans still needlessly delay scheduled judicial nomination committee votes now that they are in the majority?
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Third day of Senate debate to #GetMoneyOut

While America's foreign policy challenges and other critical issues dominated the Senate floor on Wednesday, debate on the Democracy for All amendment continued for a third day. Those opposed to getting money out of politics are even sounding like they're on our side. They ignore the fact that their points are very much among those that inspired Democracy for All in the first place.
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First day of Senate debate to #GetMoneyOut

Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois was there to set the record straight, about the true reality of this debate, and about the seriousness with which Democracy for All supporters have approached this historic step forward in the movement to take back our democracy from powerful corporations and billionaires.
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Grassley's Hypocrisy Comes Out in the Ronnie White Debate

Grassley sharply criticized White for something that he was fine with when Samuel Alito did it.
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Grassley Says Every Senator Has Right to Vote on Nominees He Filibustered

After trying to block the Senate from holding confirmation votes, Grassley says each senator had a right to a recorded vote on those nominees.
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GOP Blockade of Unopposed Ark. Judicial Nominees Disrupts Local Election

Chuck Grassley tries and fails to justify his party's obstruction, which is complicating an Arkansas state judicial election.
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More Evidence that the 'Court Efficiency Act' Isn't So Efficient

Unable to come up with any legitimate reason to filibuster President Obama’s three nominees to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Senate Republicans have landed on a not-so-convincing excuse: They claim that the court has too many judges as it is and that it would be wasteful to fill its remaining vacancies.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has even gone so far as to introduce a bill that would permanently reduce the number of seats on the influential court from eleven to eight (the number of active judges currently sitting on the court), thereby preventing President Obama from placing any more nominees on the court. (The president has had one nominee confirmed to the DC Circuit, compared to four nominees under President Bush and eight under President Reagan).

Grassley’s bill would reduce the number of slots on the DC Circuit by three and “reallocate” two of those seats  to circuits that he contends need the judges more.

There are a number of gaping flaws in Grassley’s logic, the first of which is that he and his fellow Republicans were eager to fill the very same DC Circuit seats that they are now trying to eliminate back when President Bush was the one making nominations.

Then, there’s the fact that there seems to be absolutely no basis for reallocating the two D.C. Circuit seats to the Eleventh and Second circuits. The official office that evaluates the needs of federal courts and makes recommendations for adding and removing seats doesn’t include the D.C. Circuit in its recommendations because the court’s caseload is uniquely complex and difficult to compare to that of other courts…and it also hasn’t recommended that the Eleventh or Second circuits get new judges.

This was confirmed by a former Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit whose statement  [see p. 34 of this pdf] was submitted into the Senate record last month confirming that his former court indeed does not need new judges:

Since my appointment to the Eleventh Circuit on October 1, 1990, the judges of our court annually have voted whether or not we should ask Congress to authorize more federal judges.  Each time our court considers the topic, an overwhelming majority of our members have voted “no!” 

Even one of the co-sponsors of the court-rigging bill – Sen. Jeff Sessions – has gone on record saying that the Eleventh and Second Circuits actually don’t need new judgeships.

All of which makes one suspect that of all the goals that Sen. Grassley might have in mind with the Court Efficiency Act, the efficiency of the courts is probably not one of them.

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GOP Puts Politics Above Governance at First DC Circuit Committee Vote

Committee Republicans recycle their old caseload argument to justify a party-line vote against the first of three DC Circuit nominees.
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Grassley's Own DC Circuit Numbers Fail Him

Even under Sen. Grassley's definition of caseload, his argument against filling DC Circuit vacancies falls apart.
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Grassley Cites Anonymous Comments to Justify Rigging DC Circuit

The Judiciary Committee's senior Republican embarrasses himself and degrades the Senate with his latest stunt.
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The Wall St. Journal's Bizarre Attack on Potential DC Circuit Nominations

The Journal calls Obama a "king" for planning to make nominations to fill D.C. Circuit judgeships as Congress has mandated.
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Senate Confirms Second Woman and First Ever Public Defender to Eighth Circuit

Yesterday, the Senate unanimously confirmed Iowa’s Jane Kelly to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kelly, who currently serves as a federal public defender, becomes “only the second woman, and the first public defender, to serve in the history of the court that was established in 1891,” according to the Iowa City Gazette.

Kelly also makes history by having the quickest confirmation process of any of President Obama’s appeals court nominees so far, according to the Gazette. Kelly waited just 33 days for a confirmation vote, compared to the average 153 day wait for President Obama’s circuit court nominees (as of two weeks ago). Kelly’s quick confirmation, however, would not have been at all noteworthy at this point in George W. Bush administration, when appellate nominees waited an average of just 37 days between committee approval and Senate confirmation.  

Kelly’s speedy confirmation may have something to do with the senators supporting her. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, who as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has been instrumental in obstructing President Obama’s judicial nominees, seemed to put aside his obstruction habits for a nominee from his own state.
 

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Republicans Seek to Rig the DC Circuit Court

GOP bill would delete three of the vacancies on the DC Circuit so President Obama would be unable to restore balance to this extremely influential court.
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