March 10, 2022

Grassley Statement on SCOTUS Nomination at Committee Meeting

Prepared Opening Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Business Meeting
March 10, 2022
I understand we can voice vote the U.S. Attorney nominees. We have six judicial nominees and one executive nominee up for a vote today. I’ll be voting in favor of Judge Garnett but against the others.
Judge Garnett served as a federal prosecutor for more than a decade, prosecuting eco-terrorists and drug traffickers. She’s also served as a state court judge since 2014. I do hope nominees from this administration will be more responsive than Judge Kato. I was disappointed that she wouldn’t answer whether she thought racial discrimination was wrong. She also could have answered whether a case could be dismissed on procedural grounds rather than reaching the merits. So I’ll be opposing her nomination.
I also want to briefly touch on the Supreme Court nomination process. I’m hoping Senator Durbin and I can send a request for documents to the Sentencing Commission. This administration and Democratic senators have cited her experience on the Sentencing Commission as a significant part of her experience. And it is.
That’s why it’s important that we get documents to see her legal reasoning and views. It’s part of a thorough examination for any Supreme Court nominee who has worked in the federal government.
Now, let me address one point that some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been making about documents. Some have been comparing this nomination to Justice Barrett’s nomination. Those are apples and oranges. Justice Barrett never served in the federal government in a policy role. That’s why she didn’t have any additional documents to request when she was nominated to the Supreme Court. I hope we can reach an agreement and get these documents soon.
Finally, I want to briefly follow up on something that one of my Democratic colleagues on this Committee stated at our carjacking hearing last Tuesday. He said that last year’s American Rescue Plan Act provided 350 billion dollars in state and local funding that the Biden administration has made available for use in hiring law enforcement personnel and purchasing law enforcement technology and equipment.
This is an enormous exaggeration. In his opening remarks, Dallas police chief Eddie Garcia testified that major cities have limited American Rescue Plan funding for law enforcement. He was right.
My staff has scoured funding databases from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, and the National League of Cities. According to those organizations, only a tiny fraction of the American Rescue Plan’s 350 billion dollars is specifically allocated to police departments. To be exact, 616 million dollars is allocated to police. That’s less than one-fifth of one percent of what the American Rescue Plan is spending on state and local governments. And it’s a lot less than the almost 900 million dollars that just nine of our biggest cities defunded their police departments by in 2020.