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Grassley Explains Lack of Women on Judiciary Committee

The veteran senator says it might be 'workload'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2018 11:20 AM CDT
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks to reporters as he leaves the chamber following a procedural vote to advance the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – "It's a lot of work—maybe they don't want to do it." So says Sen. Chuck Grassley on why the Senate Judiciary Committee that supported Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination had no female Republicans, per the Wall Street Journal. "My chief of staff of 33 years tells me we've tried to recruit women and we couldn't get the job done," adds Grassley, the committee's chair. But the 85-year-old Republican later walked back his remarks, saying the committee's workload made it less enticing to male and female senators alike: "We have a hard time getting men on the committee. It's just a lot of work whether you're a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter."

What exactly makes it so hard to get senators on board? "Well, I love it. I've been on it 38 years," the senator responded. "On average, any woman in the United States Senate, whether they’re on Judiciary or any other committee, probably works harder than the average man." Continuing his apparent change of heart, Grassley said the Supreme Court should have more women: "Probably five would be about right." All Republicans on the committee are male, while the Democrats have ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein and three other women, per the Huffington Post. In fact Republicans haven't had a single female member since the committee was established in 1816, Vox notes.
(Read more Senate Judiciary Committee stories.)

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