For Immediate Release

50 Local and National Groups Call on Sen. Chuck Grassley to Resign as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman

WASHINGTON - September 27, 2018

 

The Honorable Charles Grassley

135 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Senator Grassley:

We, the undersigned, are writing today to request your resignation as Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

We are organizations and leaders from across the country, and have watched with alarm as you have taken the bipartisan institution of the Judiciary Committee and injected partisan politics and misogynistic bullying into its leadership. There are many of us who have expressed public disagreement with your decisions in the past, but this goes beyond simply disagreeing with your stance on a nominee or a policy position. Your actions have threatened the independent nature of the judiciary, a bedrock institution that must provide a check on the executive and legislative branches in order for our democracy to thrive.

Your tenure as Chair began with unprecedented obstruction of judicial nominations put forward by President Obama, including the hearings that never occurred for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. And while you used the blue slip process of giving deference to home state Senators to block nominees made by President Obama1, you have ripped up that precedent to further steamroll nominees of President Trump2. In addition, you have moved away from other long standing committee practices, speeding up the process for nominees making it harder to thoroughly vet them, and by de-emphasizing the ratings provided by the American Bar Association3.

In recent days your failed leadership has once again been on full display. You have publicly bullied4 a woman who has stepped forward to report allegations of sexual assault. You and your staff had knowledge5 of the allegation prior to it becoming public, and prepared a defense for the nominee while expeditiously moving through the nomination process with the hope it would never be uncovered. Once the allegation was made public, you rejected past precedent, and refused a request for the FBI to investigate further6, instead relying on your staff to investigate. However, your staff has behaved in a wholly inappropriate manner, sending tweets that indicate bias7 that would compromise their investigation, as well as needing to resign due to their own prior sexual misconduct allegations8. Finally, in the face of mounting criticism about your handling of this process, you claimed the role of victim not for Dr. Blasey Ford, but for yourself9.

The nomination process of a Supreme Court nominee is not about you personally, but it is about whether Americans have confidence in your leadership. After the events of the past few weeks, we have lost all confidence you can lead the Judiciary Committee without tainting this and any subsequent nomination process with politics.

For the good of the country, and for the future of an independent judicial branch free from politics, we urge you to resign as Chair of the Committee on Judiciary immediately.

Sincerely,

Progress Iowa

Daily Kos

Tax March

MoveOn

CREDO

One Wisconsin Now

Americans for Democratic Action Iowa

Iowa Citizen Action Network

Courage Campaign

Why Courts Matter Pennsylvania

Citizen Advocacy Center

Battle Born Progress

Joyce Moore Financial Services

TaxMarch MN

NCJW Southern Maine

Sisterhood of Iowa

Indivisible Chester County

Indivisible Berks

Progress Michigan

Progressive Turnout Project

Indivisible York

Why Courts Matter Iowa

ProgressNow Colorado

Indivisible Iowa

Pennsylvania Together

Youth Progressive Action Catalyst

Keystone Progress

Forward Montana Foundation

Progress Virginia

Cumberland Valley Rising

Indivisible Iowa SD 33/34/35

March for our Lives

End Citizens United

Susquehanna Valley Progress

Granite State Progress

Columbia County Indivisible

Tuesdays With Toomey Philadelphia

Philly Neighborhood Networks

Women's Medical Fund

Indivisible Clinton County PA

Indivisible KY

One Iowa Action

ProgressNow Arizona

Susquehanna Valley Progress

Torah Trumps Hate

Indivisible Iowa

Buchanan County Indivisible

Manchester Area Progressive Alliance (Indivisible)

Regina Russell, Elected Dem Cmte Women, Sunbury, Pa

Justice For All

412 Resistance

Central PA Action Agenda

Notes

1. Senate GOP used “blue slips” to block Obama judicial nominees, but now wants to trash the practice

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2017/05/25/blue-slips-and-judicial-nominees-in-senate/

2. POLITICO: Grassley rips up ‘blue slip’ for a pair of Trump court picks

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/16/chuck-grassley-trump-court-picks-245367

3. Roll Call: Senate Republicans Steamroll Judicial Process

https://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/the-senates-consent-machine

4. Washington Monthly: Chuck Grassley is bullying Christine Blasey Ford

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/09/18/chuck-grassley-is-bullying-christine-blasey-ford/

5. POLITICO: Grassley knew about allegation

https://twitter.com/BresPolitico/status/1040616745499848704

".@ChuckGrassley releases a letter from 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school (showing Rs knew about this high-school rape allegation.) These women say Kavanaugh “behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”

6. Washington Examiner: Grassley rejects FBI probe, still pushing for testimony from Kavanaugh’s accuser

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/congress/grassley-rejects-fbi-investigation-still-pushing-for-testimony-from-christine-blasey-ford

7. Roll Call: Judiciary Staffer’s Tweets Fuel Fight Over Kavanaugh Accuser

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/staffers-tweets-fuel-fight-kavanaugh-accuser

8. USA Today: Aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley resigns amid reports he had been accused of sexual harassment

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/22/sen-chuck-grassley-aide-garrett-ventry-resigns-sexual-harassment-complaint/1394249002/

9. Radio Interview with Hugh Hewitt

https://youtu.be/wuCF24G6gW8

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