Sen. Grassley to Supreme Court Justices Considering Retirement: 'Do It Yesterday'
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had a message for aging Supreme Court justices who may be on the fence about retirement: "If you're thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday."
Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the remark on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” on Thursday.
“If there is going to be a nominee, I hope it’s now or within two or three weeks, because we’ve got to get this done before the election. And there’s generally about 50, 60, 70 days between the time a president nominates somebody and we get a hearing in committee, and then another two weeks before it gets to the floor,” Grassley said. "This has to be done before the November election."
He later clarified that he wasn't trying to pressure a justice into retirement. He said he was merely pointing out how long it takes to process a nomination, so if a justice wants their replacement to be nominated by President Trump and confirmed by a GOP-controlled Senate, the best time to retire is now.
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who turns 82 in July, has reportedly been considering retiring when the current term expires next month.
On "Outnumbered," Lisa Boothe noted that many voters said the vacant Supreme Court seat was what motivated them to vote in the 2016 election.
President Trump eventually nominated the conservative-leaning Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed after Senate Republicans used the "nuclear option" to get rid of the 60-vote filibuster.
Boothe noted that Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who faces a difficult re-election bid, recently said that if Kennedy retired, it would give Republicans something with which to rally their base and drive turnout.
"I’m hoping [it] will get our base a little motivated because right now they’re not very motivated. But I think a new Supreme Court justice will get them motivated,” Heller said.