Like most Senate Republicans in the Obstruction Club, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has completely failed to take Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to task for his racist comments in which he questioned the ability of a federal judge to perform his duties due to his Mexican heritage.
In fact, Grassley went so far as to defend Trump’s comments by likening them to remarks made by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation, in which she expressed the idea that being a latina gave her a unique perspective as a judge.
Unlike many other Republicans who have similarly failed to call Trump out for his racism, Sen. Grassley occupies a special position given his responsibility for overseeing the federal judiciary system. That fact was not lost on Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid this week, when he took to the floor of the Senate:
“The Republican nominee for president of our great country continues to attack a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage. This is not only wrong, it’s racist and un-American. It’s also a fundamental attack on the American judiciary system,” Reid said.
“When federal judges are under assault, we should expect the chairman of the Judiciary Committee to rise above politics and condemn racism,” Reid said. “But not this judiciary chairman that is now the chairman here in the United States Senate. Not the senior United States senator from Iowa. Instead of a bold feat of bipartisanship, we’re left with yet another example of how he has become the most partisan judiciary chairman in the history of America.”
Reid was even more direct in a statement he made to the press, blasting Republicans for their cowardice:
Senate Republicans are united in blocking Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Republicans are united in refusing to provide their advice and consent on President Obama’s nominee. Republicans are united in doing it for Donald Trump. And they should all be ashamed. It’s hard to imagine anything more humiliating than holding a Supreme Court seat open so Donald Trump can fill it.
Is this why my Republican colleagues entered public service – to march in lockstep behind a man who spews hate speech and attacks the basic rule of law in America?