A coalition of Iowa progressive and labor groups and Democratic state lawmakers are mounting a campaign to pressure Sen. Chuck Grassley to hold off on hearings on a new Supreme Court justice until special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election is completed.
“Until the investigation has run its course, Sen, Grassley and the Senate should not move ahead with any nomination made by President Trump,” the coalition said in a statement Thursday.
The investigation involves not only the Russians’ role in the election, but the potential involvement of the Trump campaign. The president has repeatedly said there was no collusion.
Grassley, R-Iowa, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and on Wednesday said he expects the White House to nominate someone to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy soon, with hearings to be held “in the weeks ahead.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects a full Senate vote to vote on the nominee in the fall.
They’ve already rejected demands by Senate Democrats to delay the nomination until after the midterm elections. Democrats have cited the delay by the GOP-led Senate’s refusal to consider Merrick Garland in 2016 to replace Antonin Scalia.
Republicans, including Grassley, said Garland shouldn’t have been considered because it was a presidential election year, and that Justice Elena Kagan, an appointee of President Barack Obama, was confirmed the summer before the 2010 midterms.
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The Iowa coalition calling for the delay includes the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFSCME Council 61 and the Iowa State Education Association. Also included were Progress Iowa and the Iowa Citizens Action Network. Seven state lawmakers also added their names to the list.