A senior editor for the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted that she couldn’t watch Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general because she “got too angry Chuck Grassley survived COVID.”
In her tweet, which has since been deleted, Rebecca McCray said she tried to watch the confirmation hearing for Vanita Gupta, who would be the third-highest-ranking official in the Department of Justice if confirmed. But apparently McCray grew upset over comments by Grassley, the senior senator from Iowa, who said Gupta had “her work cut out for her showing us she can represent all Americans in the role she has been selected for.”
— Whitney Robertson (@whitneyleerob) March 9, 2021
Grassley said that some of Gupta’s career as a civil rights attorney has been admirable, but he said much of it has been driven by partisanship and “strident liberal advocacy.”
“Her Twitter feed has painted Republicans with a broad brush, describing our national convention last year as three nights of quote, unquote racism, xenophobia and outrageous lies,” Grassley said. He also accused Gupta of launching Twitter attacks on some members of Congress and attacking the character of “many judicial nominees, most of whom are now sitting on the federal bench,” including Supreme Court justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh.
“Judges have thick skins, but the fact is her name is going to be on hundreds, maybe thousands of briefs before those judges, whose character she frequently maligned,” Grassley said.
In her tweet, McCray wrote “Tried to watch Vanita Gupta’s confirmation hearing but got too angry Chuck Grassley survived COVID.”
McCray deleted the initial tweet, but then defended her anti-Grassley comments in a follow-up tweet, writing “Chuck Grassley and the Iowa GOP have thousands of Iowans’ blood on their hands and continue to govern with no regard for their constituents’ lives.”
McCray did not respond to an email from National Review seeking comment on her tweet.
Chuck Grassley and the Iowa GOP have thousands of Iowans' blood on their hands and continue to govern with no regard for their constituents' lives. I've tweeted about this before. But nice screenshot skills. https://t.co/SLMOz3sLFl
— Rebecca McCray (@rebeccakmccray) March 9, 2021
The 87-year-old Grassley contracted COVID-19 in November, but he said in a statement that he “did not experience symptoms.” At the time, McCray wrote that she had “no thoughts & prayers” for Grassley “and his cronies.” But, she wrote, “I’ll miss his tweets.”
Before rejoining the ACLU in 2018, McCray held several reporting and editing jobs, and was a freelance journalist, writing for leftwing outlets like Slate, Vice News, Rolling Stone and Think Progress. She previously had worked for the ACLU as a paralegal and legal assistant, and she attended college at the University of Iowa.