Judiciary Chairman: SCOTUS Hearing Would Be Too Expensive

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

This is a new one.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Assume Deer Dead) participated in an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board where he said one reason he never held a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland is because it would cost too much.

Grassley was asked what harm it could do to simply hold a hearing and this was apparently the best response he could come up with.

GRASSLEY: “Sure, sure. Umm, I suppose, the tradition is – and I’m not sure I would follow this tradition because I know who I have on my staff, I know how deep you have to go into going through a person’s record, in order to hold a hearing that’s worthwhile. And so you appropriate – you get special, not appropriations – you get ‘special’ from the rules committee; additional money to hire additional legal people. My staff tells me that’s about a half a million to $750,000 to hire people to maybe work for three or four months to do it.

“And so when 52 senators say they aren’t going to take it up, should I spend that money and have a hearing?”

You could say $750,000 is a lot of money to pay for holding a hearing on a nominee that won't be confirmed, but how many millions of dollars has the GOP wasted over the past 8 years?

How many millions were wasted chasing the ghosts of Solyndra? How much money did they spend trying to find the smoking gun from Fast and Furious? How many hearings did they hold on the fake IRS scandal only to find that more liberal that conservative groups were flagged for extra scrutiny? The GOP has wasted tens of millions of dollars on Benghazi alone, and as of this writing the Select Planned Parenthood Committee is still a thing.

How many millions of dollars did the GOP waste on defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act?

How much money did they waste by shutting down the federal government?

To say that we can't afford to hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee, after all frivolous expenses the GOP has billed taxpayers for, is absurd.

  • swift_4

    Some people call it “a tradition”. Others call it “The Constitution”.

  • Aynwrong

    It’s amazing to me that I’ve never once read a story about a reporter losing his or her job over losing their temper or laughing their asses off or at least smirking over having so much smoke blown up his or her ass on such a routine basis.

    He’s worried about money. Really…

  • muselet

    I don’t know if Chuck Grassley suffered a sharp blow to the head on his way to the offices of the Des Moines Register, but that there is an answer of remarkable incoherence.

    And his concern about money is touching, truly it is. Given the lack of anything to do, shouldn’t the Judiciary Committee, of which Farmer Chuck is chairman, save even more time money by locking the doors and turning out the lights—and furloughing the staff—until the Rs stop acting like bratty children?



  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    I could be wrong here, but I think he’s saying (even though he’s full of shit) that the reason is that he doesn’t want to waste the money. Not that they “can’t afford” to.

    It’s not that it’s too expensive, but that, since it’s a certainty that it will fail (given Red Shirt obstructionism), that there’s no point in spending the money.

    He’s probably right. We know – you know and I know – that there’s no path to confirmation until Clinton wins. Zero. So any money spent on a hearing before then is simply flushed down the toilet.

    The fact that they routinely flush money down the toilet (see your examples above) doesn’t change that fact. Just because they waste money chasing their hopeless political goals doesn’t mean we should demand they waste money chasing our hopeless political goals.

    The real problem here is the “52 senators who say they aren’t going to take it up.” They are assholes who need to be called out.

    • JMAshby

      To say it’s a waste of money is not a good faith argument and you’d be a fool to buy it for all the reasons I laid out.

      They won’t hold a hearing because they know Garland would be revealed as a reasonable, competent, and qualified nominee. It’s not about money. They have no problem wasting tons of money on hearings that go nowhere.

      Expecting a nominee for the Supreme Court, a fundamental pillar of our democracy, to receive a hearing at a minimum is not a “hopeless political goal.”

      • Christopher Foxx

        and you’d be a fool to buy it for all the reasons I laid out.

        Well, the reasons you lay out are all in the “they waste money on other things, so why not this” vein. You point out where they wasted money on other investigations, not how a hearing for SCOTUS wouldn’t be a waste. It certainly points out their hypocrisy, but not a reason for holding a hearing (that, as Dread_Pirate_Mathius noted, would be pointless).