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.
One Wisconsin Now
Americans for Democratic Action Iowa
Iowa Citizen Action Network
Why Courts Matter Pennsylvania
Citizen Advocacy Center
Battle Born Progress
Joyce Moore Financial Services
NCJW Southern Maine
Sisterhood of Iowa
Indivisible Chester County
Progressive Turnout Project
Why Courts Matter Iowa
Youth Progressive Action Catalyst
Forward Montana Foundation
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
One Iowa Action
Susquehanna Valley Progress
Torah Trumps Hate
Buchanan County Indivisible
Manchester Area Progressive Alliance (Indivisible)
Regina Russell, Elected Dem Cmte Women, Sunbury, Pa
Justice For All
Central PA Action Agenda
1. Senate GOP used “blue slips” to block Obama judicial nominees, but now wants to trash the practice
2. POLITICO: Grassley rips up ‘blue slip’ for a pair of Trump court picks
3. Roll Call: Senate Republicans Steamroll Judicial Process
4. Washington Monthly: Chuck Grassley is bullying Christine Blasey Ford
5. POLITICO: Grassley knew about allegation
".@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
7. Roll Call: Judiciary Staffer’s Tweets Fuel Fight Over Kavanaugh Accuser
8. USA Today: Aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley resigns amid reports he had been accused of sexual harassment
9. Radio Interview with Hugh Hewitt
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