Grassley: no “rubber stamp” for SupCo nominee

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) spoke with two Iowa radio reporters this morning, moments before news broke that President Obama intends to nominate Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Grassley made some general comments about the nomination, which you can read here.

Earlier this month, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) had some things to say about what he wanted in a Supreme Court justice.

UPDATE – here's a written statement from Grassley: “A lifetime appointment requires a thorough vetting, and I expect Judge Sotomayor to receive fair and deliberative consideration.  The United States Senate has a responsibility to carefully review nominees to the Supreme Court.   The Judiciary Committee should take time to ensure that the nominee will be true to the Constitution and apply the law, not personal politics, feelings or preferences.  We need to ask tough questions to learn how this individual views the role of a Supreme Court justice.  The last 25 years of Senate review of nominees has been entirely different than the first 200 years, and today the Senate can’t just be a rubber stamp for President Obama’s nominees.”

UPDATE II — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller issued a written statement:  "Judge Sonia Sotomayor is an outstanding nominee to the Supreme Court. Even before the President’s announcement, I thought she was the best of a very-well-qualified field of possible candidates. Judge Sotomayor has proved herself as an excellent jurist.  She believes in the rule of law, and she has the background and experience to understand how the law affects ordinary people, business, and government.  She is a woman and Hispanic with a diversity of life experience that will contribute much to the Court."

UPDATE III — Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron, Iowa) issued a written statement (King, BTW, does not have a vote on Sotomayor's nomination; that's the purview of senators): “Supreme Court decisions have effectively amended our Constitution regularly and with impunity for decades.  Nearly all of the social conflict in this country stems from the Court’s extra-constitutional interference with the voice of the people.  The very last people in America who should be amending the Constitution are the Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court is charged with interpreting the Constitution, but instead its recent activism has amended it. President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor is another victory for the radical judicial activism movement. Judge Sotomayor will put her liberal policy preferences above neutral application of the law. This nomination is a setback for defenders of the Constitution and a victory for liberal special interest groups.”

UPDATE IV — Iowa Democratic Party chairman Michael Kiernan issued a written statement (Kiernan's statement arrived before any from Senator Tom Harkin, BTW): “Nominating a justice to the Supreme Court of the United States is one of a President’s most serious and consequential responsibilities.  President Obama pledged to select a nominee with a rigorous intellect, a mastery of the law and a commitment to impartial justice. He promised to select someone who has a broader perspective on how the world works and has a common sense understanding of how the law affects the realities of everyday life. Today President Obama delivered on his promise with the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor’s stirring life story and outstanding career – at nearly every level of our judicial system – makes her qualified to serve as America’s next Supreme Court Justice. Throughout her career on the bench, she has been lauded as a fearless jurist, with an independent mind and a deep commitment to the rule of law and our constitution.  I commend President Obama on his outstanding choice and congratulate Judge Sotomayor on her nomination."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.