U.S. SENATE

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said the United States Supreme Court nomination process is becoming more politicized during a phone call with the Guthrie County Times Vedette this week.

Between 1789 and 2002, there weren’t many filibusters to Supreme Court nominees, but that changed when a Democratic-led Senate disagreed with Republican President George W. Bush.

“They decided instead of looking at a judges’ temperament and capabilities they started judging people on their ideology, and so we’re having filibusters on judges,” Grassley said. “And that went through the George Bush administration.

“Obviously, it didn’t change when Republicans were in the majority during the [Barack] Obama administration and it carries over to today,” Grassley continued. “It’s kind of a recent thing that politics has become so involved, and it’s sad that it has.”

Grassley expressed faith in Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and said everyone should take a look at his 12 years on the DC Court of Appeals and at his academic background.

“He is a judge’s judge,” Grassley said. “He knows that judges are supposed to make their decisions based on the facts of the case and the law.”

Missing Journalist

Grassley said he doesn’t necessarily believe the Saudi Arabia government didn’t know about the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at its Turkish embassy.

“As the facts show, the government of Saudi Arabia was involved in it,” Grassley said. “If the president doesn’t take strong action, Congress will.”

Midterm Elections

Iowa is always a touch-and-go state for congressional elections, Grassley said in response to whether he believes the Democrat’s Blue Wave will overtake rural Iowa.

He said congressional districts are determined by a computer so Iowa has more evenly divided districts than most states.

Grassley said he suspects northwest Iowa will still lean Republican, and the southeast district will go Blue, but he said the other two districts are “even-steven.”

Iowa’s largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, recently endorsed the Democratic candidates in all four U.S. Congressional district races, to which Grassley said he is “not surprised by that, and I don’t think it will make much of a big difference.”

He said he believes the Republicans will keep control of the United States Senate, but said he believes it’s possible the margin could narrow.

Farm Bill

Grassley said the Democrats are holding up the Farm Bill over requirements for Food Stamps.

He said he doesn’t believe they’ll round up enough to pass the bill this year, so it will likely be pushed back one more year.

Google+ data breach

Grassley is in conversations with Google about whether the company is doing all it can to protect people’s privacy.

The Senator has alleged Google+ allowed third party developers to access information from the users without their permission. The accusation is similar to data accusations Facebook faced earlier this year.

Grassley said it’s going to be up to platforms like Google+ and Facebook to accept the responsibility of respecting the privacy of individuals.

“If they don’t they’re inviting legislation,” Grassley said. “It’s up to them. We’re going to be ready to move in Congress if they don’t meet that professional responsibility.”