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SCOTUS | Don’t Sacrifice Integrity of Vetting Process to Meet Arbitrary Timeline

Dems announced hearing date before seeking records necessary for review

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary, today warned Democrats against rushing the Senate’s constitutional “advice and consent” role to meet an unnecessary artificial timeline to vote on President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee. Committee chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced a truncated vetting timeline just days after the nomination was announced, before even seeking records necessary to begin a complete review.
“Vetting a nominee for a lifetime appointment to the high court is serious business. The American people rightly expect a full and thorough vetting process. We should not sacrifice the integrity of our constitutional advice and consent responsibility to meet an arbitrary timeline. The Court’s next term doesn’t begin until October, so there’s absolutely no need to rush,” Grassley said.
For recent Supreme Court nominees who’ve had prior federal government service, the committee’s pre-hearing vet process has taken, on average, 53 days to allow sufficient time to receive and review records related to the nominee’s government service. Chairman Durbin’s proposed timeline allows for only 24 days – less than half the normal timeline for recent nominees with prior government service.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s prior service on the U.S. Sentencing Commission and as a federal public defender, including her time representing a Guantanamo Bay detainee, warrant the same scrutiny provided to the government records of other Supreme Court nominees. Announcing a hearing date before even seeking these records in order to meet an ahistoric timeline risks casting doubt on the thoroughness of the vetting process.
When Grassley chaired the committee during its consideration of Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination, he announced the hearing dates a full month after the nomination was made, and after documents from Kavanaugh’s government service had been requested and released.