Rock Rapids, Iowa — As expected, the biggest issue at US Senator Chuck Grassley’s appearance in Rock Rapids on Monday was his decision to wait until after the election to fill the unexpected Supreme Court vacancy. About 70 people were in attendance, but if the license plates on the cars in the parking area are any indication, several of them came from out of our area of Iowa, and several were from out-of-state as well.
Senator Grassley told those in attendance that his decision on the Supreme Court issue is based on the checks and balances written into the US Constitution, and concerns the role of the court, and not politics. He says it’s also about the people having a voice. He has said previously that “Changing the direction of the Supreme Court for a generation is too important for the court, and the nominee, to get bogged down in politics.” Grassley noted in Rock Rapids that the justices are lifetime appointments, so the decision should not be entered into lightly. About ten people spoke about the issue, including one man dressed as Ben Franklin.
Some who were concerned about the Supreme Court issue appeared to be from out of the area, but there were several locals who were concerned about the issue as well. Some of them identified as conservatives worried that refusing to have a hearing on justice nominee Merrick Garland would appear to make the Republican party appear obstructionist. Another conservative said she was worried that a Democrat would win the Presidency and choose an even more liberal judge. One person suggested just having the hearing and not vote yet on confirmation. Grassley said that wouldn’t accomplish anything. About ten people asked questions or had statements on the Supreme Court vacancy.
The Senator took several other questions.
One family whose son had epilepsy and had been helped by cannabidiol was there to ask the Senator to support the “CARERS” act, which would transfer marijuana, from which the oil is made, from schedule I to schedule II and would exclude “cannabidiol” from the definition of “marijuana” and define it separately. The Senator said that due to possible quality issues, he wants to wait to see if the FDA approves it first.
Others asked Grassley to do more to combat terrorism, and to fix the immigration issues.
Grassley took questions for about an hour.