Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Saturday that "it only make sense," to wait until 2017 to confirm a new Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.
Grassley issued a statement calling Scalia "an intellectual giant," who was devoted to upholding the Constitution. Grassley also signaled that he won't be taking up President Obama's nominee to replace Scalia this year.
"The fact of the matter is that it's been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year." Grassley said in a statement Saturday. "Given the huge divide in the country, and the fact that this President, above all others, has made no bones about his goal to use the courts to circumvent Congress and push through his own agenda, it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice."
Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed to the high court in 1988, an election year, though that was an unusual circumstance. Two prior judges by President Ronald Reagan did not win confirmation, leaving the seat vacant for most of the prior year.