Sen. Chuck Grassley will follow the rules – the Biden rules – in scheduling confirmation hearings.
He respects the advice of Joseph Biden regarding Supreme Court nominees, and has given them an official senatorial name, the “Biden Rules”, as Biden outlined in his 1992 speech.
Biden’s rules are that a Justice must not be nominated or approved during a presidential election year.
“Justice Scalia’s death marks the first time a sitting Supreme Court justice has passed away in a presidential election year in 100 years,” Grassley, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, said in the Senate yesterday.
In 1992, Biden “emphasized that in four vacancies that arose during a presidential election year, the president exercised restraint and withheld from making a nomination until after the election,” Grassley declared. He added, “One of those presidents was Abraham Lincoln.”
Grassley then quoted from the vice president’s 1992 speech.
In 1992, Biden publicly advised President George H.W. Bush not to nominate anyone at all, should a seat open up on the High Court. But if the president chose to make a Supreme Court nomination anyway, Biden added, “the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”
Grassley called these the “Biden Rules.”
He noted that Biden pledged in 1992 that these rules would not be an attempt to game the system.
Chairman Grassley made clear that he intends to follow the Biden Rules if President Barack Obama makes a Supreme Court nomination to fill Justice Scalia’s seat.