Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley Announces He's Stepping Down... Lindsey Graham Ready To Step Up


In the wake of the midterm elections, and due to the Republican Party’s self-imposed term limits on Senate leadership positions, there has been a bit of shuffling among top Senate Republicans as the various committee chairmanships are sorted out.

Part of that shuffle involved Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, stepping aside from that role to fill the chair of the Finance Committee, which will soon be vacated by the retiring Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

The Hill reported that the next Republican in line to chair the Judiciary Committee is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who will await only the formality of a vote by his GOP colleagues to confirm his ascension to the powerful position.

Graham addressed the likely transfer of the chair in a pair of tweets that praised Grassley for his leadership.

“I very much appreciate Senator Chuck Grassley’s leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” he tweeted. “He chaired the committee with a steady hand, sense of fundamental fairness, and resolve. His leadership serves as a model to us all.”

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The senator added that Grassley “has much to be proud of during his time as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His work, along with his Democrat and Republican colleagues, accomplished so much for the American people.”

In a separate tweet a short time later, Graham made it clear what his top priorities for the next session of Congress would be, should he be confirmed by his colleagues to chair the powerful committee.

“If I am fortunate enough to be selected by my colleagues to serve as Chairman, I will push for the appointment and Senate confirmation of highly qualified conservative judges to the federal bench and aggressive oversight of the Department of Justice and FBI,” he said.

The Hill noted that Graham may very well have got a jump on his imminent jurisdiction over the Justice Department by meeting Thursday with acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, the man nominated by President Donald Trump to temporarily fill the void left by the resignation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Whitaker had served as chief of staff.

Graham seemed quite pleased with Whitaker following the meeting and told reporters that he had been reassured that Whitaker had no intentions of firing Robert Mueller or otherwise interfering in the special counsel probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election or collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Nor did Graham see any reason Whitaker should recuse himself from all things related to that Russia investigation, which had proven to be a stumbling block for his predecessor Sessions.

Graham had long been the subject of wary eyes cast by conservatives who were troubled by his strong support for comprehensive immigration reform — which would have included amnesty for illegal immigrants — and willingness to buck his party to work with Democratic colleagues.

But a lot has shifted over the past two years, and the senator has since been embraced by many conservatives as “Graham 2.0” due to his developing friendship with Trump, support for the president’s agenda and fiery defense of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh against the disgusting smear campaign launched by Democrats to derail his confirmation.

Should Graham continue to be supportive of the president and his administration, and follow through on prioritizing the confirmation of conservative and originalist judicial nominees, he will likely do just fine both in terms of chairing the Judiciary Committee and remaining on the good side of the GOP’s conservative base.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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