DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Trump nominated Barrett on Saturday to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“As a senior member and former chairman of this committee, I’ll take this meeting very seriously because we’re talking about a lifetime appointment, somebody that’s going to be on the Supreme Court for the next 30 years, Lord willing,” Grassley said to reporters before the meeting.
“I think Judge Bennett has demonstrated her brilliant legal mind before the committee. She did that in 2017 when she was nominated for the Seventh Circuit Court,” he added.
Grassley also noted that while on the bench, Barrett has been involved with 600 cases and 100 opinions.
“She’s roundly revered in legal circles for her well seasoned and very deliberate decisions, as well as for her commitment to applying the law as written, regardless of outcome. She’s also been a leader in academia. She’s been a mentor to other women practicing law. And without a doubt, Judge Barrett is well qualified to serve on the highest court in the land.,” he said.
Grassley added that the Senate Judiciary Committee would look at her legal career once again in the coming weeks as they move toward a confirmation vote.
“Last time she was up, we only had her writings that she did as a professor. Now we have several decisions to judge by, and I will be evaluating the nomination based upon those decisions. As I always have, and I hope that the process going forward is one of respect of civility befitting the Senate and the Supreme Court,” Grassley said.
He said he hoped the committee would avoid the “shenanigans” that marked the confirmation hearing for Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Before he began a private meeting with Barrett, Grassley congratulated the nominee.
“I congratulate you very much on the honor that you have. But more importantly, everything you’ve done up to this time in your life to get you prepared for because you got a lot of work and established a good reputation,” he said.
Barrett thanked Grassley.
He reiterated that the committee can now review her judicial record, but she wasn’t starting from scratch.
“With her reputation, I would say that she’s got a good chance of getting my vote,” Grassley said. “I usually don’t say that till everything’s over. But Judge Barrett has quite a record to go on during the time she was on the court. So I’m looking forward to learning more in just a few minutes.”