About 50 people rallied outside the Federal Building in Des Moines Monday afternoon, calling on U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to hold hearings for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
The event was part of a nationwide call for senators to move ahead with hearings for President Obama's nominee to the high court.
It was organized by some three dozen groups, such as MoveOn.org, and included representatives from Iowa’s environmental and faith communities.
Debbie Griffin is pastor of Downtown Disciples in Des Moines, which she describes as a “non-apologetically progressive Christian community.”
“We elected President Obama to be president of these United States of America and he has presented a nominee for the Supreme Court," she says. "We expect Senator Grassley to hold a hearing and to do justice.”
A pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Gary Nims, says the Constitution is clear when it comes to high court nominations.
“The president nominates and the Senate confirms," he says. "There’s no time limit set on that, but the implication is it happens right away.”
A plane flew above the rally trailing a banner reading “Senator Grassley, Do Your Job.”
A similar event was held outside Grassley’s office in Waterloo.
Grassley and other Senate Republicans say they want to wait for the next president to fill the open Supreme Court seat.