Symposium Led By Senate Judiciary
Committee Ranking Member Will Include Federal Judges, Iowa High School Students
COUNTY – As part of his longstanding effort to engage Iowans in our system of
representative government, uphold the separation of powers and foster participation
in civic life, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, announced plans to convene his second youth summit on
Friday, November 12, in Des Moines to focus on the federal judiciary and its
impact on daily life.
half-day symposium will feature U.S. District Judge, Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger,
and Senior District Judge, James E. Gritzner. Thirty-seven schools in Central
Iowa have been invited to participate in the program.
surveys reflect a declining trust in our institutions of government,” Grassley said. “It’s more important
than ever to educate future generations of leaders about the roles and
responsibilities of the three branches of the federal government and the rights
and responsibilities of American citizenship. Whether exercising their
constitutional freedoms, casting a vote at the ballot box, running for public
office or serving on a jury, I want to encourage young people to engage in
civic life and make a difference in their communities.
its nature, the federal judiciary typically doesn’t receive
the same degree of public attention as elected officials in the
other two branches of government. Some consider the judicial branch
the weakest of the three branches of government and arguably the least
understood, yet it bears tremendous influence on the daily lives of
Americans long after a presidency or session of Congress ends.”
of the original standing committees in Congress, the Senate Judiciary Committee
initiates the “advice and consent” process to vet the President’s Article III
judicial nominations, including those for the Supreme Court, 13 appellate
courts and 94 federal judicial districts. Iowa is served by the 8th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals and the federal courts for the Northern and Southern
districts of Iowa.
III of the U.S. Constitution establishes the federal judiciary as an
independent branch, bearing responsibility to uphold the rule of law and apply
equal rights under the law for individual Americans.
the 117th Congress, Grassley serves as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary
Committee, which has exclusive legislative and oversight jurisdiction of the federal
judiciary. He had previously served as chairman during the 114th and 115th
Congresses. As ranking member of the influential Senate Judiciary Committee,
Grassley has a pivotal role in shaping the direction of the federal judiciary.
and then senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 115th and 116th
Congresses, Grassley played an instrumental role in the confirmation process of
U.S. Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney
Barrett. He shepherded numerous district and appeals court nominees through the
upper chamber as leader of the prestigious committee. For many years, he’s led
the effort to allow cameras in federal courtrooms to enhance transparency and
increase public understanding of the federal court system.
look forward to another opportunity to engage in a dialogue with Iowa high
school students about how the federal courts impact their families and way of
life,” Grassley said. “Landmark
rulings handed down by the Supreme Court affect free speech, religious liberty,
privacy, affirmative action and due process relevant to the lives of students
right here in Iowa. Understanding the federal judiciary at the district court
and appellate court level, along with the role of the Supreme Court, is
important. From randomized drug-testing to student-led prayer and search and
seizure activity on school property, I have no doubt that high school students
will come prepared with very good questions and an interest in gathering
knowledge. It’s my goal they take away a better appreciation about the
functions of the federal judiciary.”