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Grassley Statement at an Executive Business Meeting

Prepared Statement by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Business Meeting
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Our side would like to hold over five district court nominations (Castner, Montenegro, Rubin, Silva, and Traum) as well as S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, because they are on the agenda for the first time.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is a bipartisan bill I introduced with Senator Klobuchar, along with many of our colleagues on this Committee. This legislation will promote competition on dominant Big Tech platforms. I look forward to voting this bill out of Committee.

With respect to the nominations, I plan to support Judge Stark, Judge Corley, Ms. Brennan, and Judge Ruiz. I’ll also vote for Ms. Vidal, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office nominee. She’s widely respected in the intellectual property community and has practiced intellectual property law for over 20 years. I asked Ms. Vidal about her views on patent application fees, multiple challenges to the same patent, and concerns that the Inter Partes Review process potentially disadvantages small inventors. Ms. Vidal made clear that she understands the challenges facing our patent process as well as the concerns of small inventors, and that she’ll work to address them.

I also wanted to explain my vote against the nomination of Dale Ho.  Mr. Ho has extremely controversial legal views. They include supporting interpreting the law based on personal “lived experience” and applying the Bill of Rights differently based on what community a person is in.  These views are far outside the mainstream. 
Mr. Ho has repeatedly shown that he’s a partisan activist who lacks the judicial temperament to serve as a federal judge.  He has spent much of his professional life on Twitter and on cable TV attacking conservatives and the states, courts, and people with whom he disagrees. 

He acknowledged that his anger toward and hatred of conservatives serves as his motivation in his work. He defended this by saying it only motivated him some of the time. And he attacked Senators Lee, Cotton, Blackburn, Cornyn and others on Twitter, using mischaracterization. So I’ll vote against him.

I’d also like to return to the discussion we had at our Executive Business Meeting on December 9 last year. We discussed the Justice Department’s continuing failure to respond to this committee’s congressional oversight requests. This was a bipartisan discussion and I thank my colleagues for engaging in it.

At that meeting, Senator Durbin mentioned creating a list of outstanding oversight requests. We’ve done that before as a committee and the Department didn’t seem to give it due weight. We even had a committee-wide call with Attorney General Garland. That call didn’t result in any changes in the Department’s unresponsive posture towards this committee.

Nevertheless, this week, Republican members transmitted outstanding Department requests to Senator Durbin a second time. We’re interested in concrete solutions, not empty rhetoric from the Department.

I look forward to continued discussions with you, Senator Durbin, to advance this committee’s oversight interests.