A group of Iowans, led by groups such as One Iowa Action, Democratic Action Iowa, Iowa Citizen Action Network and Progress Iowa, delivered a petition signed by more than 130,000 people to Sen. Chuck Grassley's offices in Waterloo and Des Moines Thursday afternoon to request that he stops 'rubber-stamping' Supreme Court justice nominees picked by President Donald Trump.
According to their petition, the groups claim that Grassley, along with Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has pushed through twice as many judicial nominees than were confirmed at this point during President Barack Obama's term, and also want their senators to provide a check on the President, not to give him automatic approval.
Last November, Grassley, who is also Chair of the Judiciary Committee, announced he was signing off on a confirmation hearing of Minnesota nominee David Stras without going through the traditional 'blue-slip process', which asks whether a candidate's home state senator approves or disapproves a nominee, and then the senator would return a blue piece of paper to the committee, to serve on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, Grassley also said he would hold a hearing for Louisiana's Kyle Duncan, who President Trump picked personally, to serve on the 5th Circuit.
Clear Lake resident Robert Franken says that despite the controversy, he believes that Grassley is still an effective leader.
"He listens to his constituents throughout the year. I'm sure he's asked those questions and realizes what the people in his district want, so I think he's done the research ahead of time," Franken says.
However, Franken does agree with a nomination process.
"Taking the steps to see that we select the right individual for such an important office would probably be a really good idea," Franken says.