Supreme Court Fight Spills Into DOJ Hearing

From left, Leahy, Lynch and Grassley at the Wednesday hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The bitter standoff over the next Supreme Court nominee spilled into a Senate hearing on Wednesday, foreshadowing how the conflict could permeate the Judiciary Committee's business to come.  

Panel ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., used his opening remarks at a hearing on Department of Justice oversight to scold Republicans for deciding not to give President Barack Obama's upcoming Supreme Court nominee a hearing or vote. Republicans announced their decision shortly after Justice Antonin Scalia's death on Feb. 13, arguing the next president should fill the vacancy so that voters can have a say in the process.  

Top Court Saga Upends Even Routine Judiciary Committee Business

Grassley, center, and Leahy, right, in better times. They are now arguing about when and where the Judiciary Committee should conduct its routine business. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Amid the ongoing dispute about how to handle an expected Supreme Court nomination, leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee now can't agree on when — or where — to hold a routine markup.  

Ranking Democrat Patrick J. Leahy blasted the panel's chairman, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, for scrapping the committee's agenda for another week. Among the bills up for review: a measure championed by GOP presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that would allow for revoking the U.S. citizenship from Americans who travel to fight for ISIS.