Patty Judge has framed herself in this year’s Iowa Senate race as “the Judge Grassley can’t ignore,” referring to Senator Chuck Grassley’s refusal to hold hearings for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. So far she’s been right – Grassley’s reelection numbers are looking rather weak for a 6-term incumbent. He was under 50% in a recent poll and up only 7 over Judge. Grassley’s campaign has recently fired off some attacks her way.
But is the former Democratic Lt. Governor the only Judge Grassley can’t ignore? There’s a lot of other judges out there, not all of them awaiting the Judiciary Committee to act or who are well-known former statewide elected Democrats.
Let’s take a look at some other famous judges in the country and consider whether Grassley can or cannot ignore them.
Donald Trump released a list of 11 very conservative potential Supreme Court nominees earlier this year to quell Republicans’ fears about his unclear ideology. He’d previously joked about nominating his sister and commented that the formal list was just a “suggestion.” So, come on. We have no idea who the former reality TV star of The Apprentice will choose. He may very well choose another reality TV figure.
And why not Judge Judith Sheindlin? The courts could move quickly through all the backlogged cases Grassley’s obstruction has caused with Judge Judy using her quick wit and blunt demeanor to toss out judgements left and right. Her views on personal responsibility and frustrations with the welfare system might actually mean she’d side with the conservatives on the court. She’s said positive things about Trump in the past. If you brought her TV cameras in with her to the Supreme Court the country might learn a lot more about the judiciary. And she could easily sail through confirmation – apparently 10% of college graduates already think she’s on the Supreme Court.
Ruling: Can’t ignore. Decent odds that Grassley would be holding hearings for her as Trump’s nominee.
“I am the law.”
We wouldn’t be in this whole Supreme Court nomination mess if we had Judge Dredd as the nation’s sole judge, jury and executioner. No need for remanding cases or concurring opinions, just let Dredd carry out The Law as he sees fit. The country would save considerable money on justices’ salaries and the court process overall if it allowed Dredd to bring order to America’s legal chaos with his voice-activated machine pistol called “Lawgiver.”
Also, an actual Judge Dredd would give plenty of reason to share an all-time favorite The Onion video:
Ruling: Can ignore, because Chuck Grassley really wouldn’t have to do his job if we had Judge Dredd taking care of the nation’s justice.
The creative writer behind Office Space, King of the Hill and Beavis and Butthead, my guess is Grassley hasn’t ever heard of this particular Judge. But Iowa’s senior Senator could use a sit-down efficiency review with the Bobs.
“So, what would you say you do here?” they might ask Grassley about the 33 judicial nominees awaiting a hearing from his Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately,” the Bobs would wonder about Grassley’s unprecedented move to shut down the judicial confirmation process for the entire summer.
Grassley waited a long time to become the chair of the Judiciary Committee, but he’s not exactly looking like upper management material these days.
Ruling: Cannot ignore, unless Grassley wants his desk slowly moved to the basement of the Capitol by Iowa voters.
The star from Beverly Hills Cop and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, he knows more about acting than the courts. But he could teach the farmer from Iowa a judicial process lesson on how 4-4 Supreme Court ties result in a “hung” decision with a reenactment of his Mock Trial with J. Reinhold:
Ruling: Can ignore – has Reinhold done anything in years?
The country club founder from Caddy Shack may share a few more traits with Grassley than he’d like. Grassley’s early shots at explaining away his Senate obstruction kept slicing into the woods worse than Smails. And his response to President Obama’s nominees has essentially been, “You’ll get nothing and like it!”
Ruling: Can’t ignore. But don’t worry, Senator, if you lose reelection the world still needs ditch diggers.
by Pat Rynard