Dear Editor,

In 2018 I wrote to Senator Grassley and commented on several aspects of the confirmation hearing for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. I also commented on Senator Grassley’s actions when he, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, refused to hold a confirmation hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by President Obama, for over a year.

I received a reply letter from Senator Grassley, dated August 10, 2018. In his letter, Senator Grassley made the following statements about presidential year Supreme Court nominations: “With respect to the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, a majority of senators – myself included – agreed that the Senate should exercise its constitutional authority and decline to confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court during a presidential election year. This would give the American people a say in who should choose the late Justice Scalia’s replacement.”

Senator Grassley further stated, “Our decision to wait until the American people elect a new President was based on the so-called Biden Rule. In 1992, then Senator Biden was very clear that the President should not nominate, and the Senate should not consider, any Supreme Court nominee that year because it would be dropping a nominee into a “cauldron in the middle of a presidential election year.”

Finally, Senator Grassley stated, “The Biden Rule by its terms applies only to presidential election years. While Supreme Court confirmations during midterm election years are common, it has been nearly 80 years since the President nominated and the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee during a presidential election year.”

Based on Senator Grassley’s own words, he should vote no to confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court during this presidential election year so to “give the American people a say in who should choose” the late Justice Ginsburg’s replacement.


Jim Anderson

Decorah