Mr. Chairman, In The Spotlight
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Today is the start of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. And New Hartford Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley, will be playing a starring role in the drama as chair of the committee...the person in charge of the hearings.

Those on the left, of course, say this hearing is a year overdue, and concerns the wrong nominee...but that was a battle that side lost.

Gorsuch was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as a circuit court judge not that long ago...the nominee-without-a-hearing, Merrick Garland, did not enjoy that level of bipartisanship.

There is great pressure on Democrats to fight this nomination to right a perceived wrong against Garland. That could lead to some fireworks at the hearing.

But Grassley has a reputation as a steady hand and one who enjoys respect on both sides of the aisle, even after last year's lack of hearings. He has successfully been able to tamp down shenanigans so far this year on hearings for cabinet appointees, and while certain Democrats will still get their moment--or soundbite--in the sun, the real dog-and-pony show against Gorsuch will likely be on the Senate floor in a few weeks, during debate prior to an actual vote.

It's another national spotlight on the man who has been elected to the Senate by Iowans seven times...more than anyone in our state's history. My expectation is that he again will acquit himself and our state well, which is a positive thing for Iowa, regardless of your political leanings.

And that's the Iowa Politics report for Monday, March 20, on twitter at iowapolitics. Listen to today's segment here:

  • @iowapolitics
    Jeff Stein is a national award-winning broadcaster, with 35 years of experience in Iowa radio and television. He has covered every Iowa presidential caucus since 1980, and has been a featured political analyst on the Fox News Channel, PBS News Hour, and various television and radio stations in Iowa. He also produces and hosts the syndicated "Iowa Almanac" daily feature, and the weekly public affairs program, "The IowaWatch Connection".