Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said he thinks that if a Supreme Court justice were to retire, President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would try to replace the justice before the 2020 election -- unlike what happened in 2016, when Republican senators wouldn't hold hearings.
When asked by Iowa Press if Trump would wait to fill a Supreme Court position until after the next presidential election, Grassley responded he didn't think Trump or McConnell would.
"No, he wouldn't agree with that," Grassley responded.
When asked if McConnell would agree with it, he responded, "No, he would not agree with it."
He said he would personally follow the "Biden rule," referencing when former Vice President Joe Biden said as a senator in 1992 that then-President George Bush should delay filling a potential Supreme Court vacancy until the presidential election that year was over.
His comments came after he said Thursday that if a Supreme Court justice were considering retirement, they should do it soon so the position can be filled before the midterms.
"I just hope that if there is going to be a nominee," Grassley told talk show host Hugh Hewitt, that a would-be retirement should be announced within two or three weeks, "because we've got to get this done before the election."
He added, "So my message to any one of the nine Supreme Court justices, if you're thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday."
Justice Anthony Kennedy has been the subject of constant retirement rumors since Trump took office last year.
When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February 2016, McConnell and his Republican colleagues wouldn't hold hearings on then-President Barack Obama's replacement pick, Merrick Garland.
When Trump won the 2016 election, he picked Neil Gorsuch to replace Scalia and he was confirmed by the Senate in 2017.
- Grassley: I don't think McConnell or Trump will wait until after 2020 to fill a SCOTUS seat
- McConnell: GOP could fill SCOTUS seat in 2020
- McConnell leaves door open for SCOTUS nominee in 2020
- Senate to vote on Kavanaugh's SCOTUS seat
- McConnell: Democrats waited until 11th hour
- Grassley 'moving ahead' with Mueller bill despite McConnell's opposition
- Duckworth: Wait until after 2018 for SCOTUS pick
- Trump vets his SCOTUS shortlist
- Who will fill John McCain's Senate seat?
- McConnell changes course after opposing SCOTUS nominees in presidential election year