There’s a “good chance” he’ll vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Tuesday as he met with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
The endorsement from the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee isn’t surprising, but the timing is unusual.
“I usually don’t say that until everything’s over,” Grassley said during a photo op with Barrett before they met privately, “but Judge Barrett has a quite a record to go on. It’s not like she’s starting out brand-new with me because I had the privilege of chairing her hearing for the Circuit Court of Appeals” in 2017.
Barrett will meet with Sen. Joni Ernst on Wednesday, who also serves on the Judiciary Committee. Its chairman. Sen. Lindsey Graham, has scheduled her confirmation hearings to begin Oct. 12.
Grassley called Barrett an “”excellent candidate” who is “highly respected” for her work as a lawyer, professor, mentor and federal judge.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about our stellar qualifications,” he added.
He’s looking for a justice who “stands for is the rule of law ... following congressional intent rather than personal views” of what Congress intended.
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“I’m not looking for someone that’s going to legislate from the bench. It is very simple to me: Are we upholding the Constitution?”
Supreme Court nominees traditionally meet with senators ahead of those hearings. Some Democrats have said they won’t meet with Barrett because they consider the confirmation process ahead of the Nov. 3 election to be illegitimate.
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