Sen. Chuck Grassley Cites 'Biden Rules' to Justify Blocking Obama Supreme Court Nominee

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley says stuff.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Monday cited what he dubbed "The Biden Rules" to justify the Republican decision to block any of President Obama's nominees to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia until after the 2016 election.

In 1992, then-Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Joe Biden argued on the Senate floor that if a seat on the Supreme Court opened up, then-President George H.W. Bush "should not, should not name a nominee until after the November election is completed."

Biden further argued his position to the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne, Jr. in 1992:

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has urged President Bush not to fill any vacancy that might open up on the Supreme Court until after the November election.

Warning that any election-year nominee “would become a victim” of a “power struggle” over control of the Supreme Court, Biden said he would also urge the Senate not to hold hearings on a nomination if Bush decided to name someone.


Biden said he had no knowledge of whether any member of the high court planned to resign this year and added that he hoped no one would. But if a vacancy occurred — three of the justices are over 70 years old — he warned that any nominee would face a harrowing experience.

“If someone steps down, I would highly recommend the president not name someone, not send a name up,” Biden said. “If he [Bush] did send someone up, I would ask the Senate to seriously consider not having a hearing on that nominee.”

“Can you imagine dropping a nominee, after the three or four or five decisions that are about to made by the Supreme Court, into that fight, into that cauldron in the middle of a presidential year?” Biden went on. “I believe there would be no bounds of propriety that would be honored by either side. . . . The environment within which such a hearing would be held would be so supercharged and so prone to be able to be distorted.”

Grassley took to the Senate floor yesterday right after Minority Leader Harry Reid disingenuously declared that "respect for the Constitution demanded that the Senate not block the nominee."