Good riddance! On Monday, Senator Dianne Feinstein announced that she is resigning as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee after she was blasted for how she handled Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
She used the excuse of other "existential threats" to focus her attention on, including wildfires and drought.
“After serving as the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for four years, I will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress,” Feinstein declared.
Feinstein came under scathing criticism after she hugged Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) at the end of Barrett’s confirmation hearing and praised his handling of it.
Feinstein sparked outrage on the left after she thanked Graham for “one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in” and praised her GOP colleague for “fairness” and “the opportunity of going back and forth.”
Two groups, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Demand Justice, both of which opposed Barrett’s nomination, immediately called on Feinstein to step down.
NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Ilyse Hogue said in October that Feinstein failed to make clear that Barrett’s confirmation process was “unprecedented, shameful and wrong.”
Brian Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice, said Monday that Feinstein’s resignation as the Democratic leader of the Judiciary panel was “a necessary step.”
“This was a necessary step if Democrats are ever going to meaningfully confront the damage Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have done to the federal judiciary,” said Fallon.
“Going forward, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee must be led by someone who will not wishfully cling to a bygone era of civility and decorum that Republicans abandoned long ago,” he continued. “The next top Democrat on the committee must be someone who is willing to fight for President-elect Biden’s nominees no matter what, and who will pursue bold action to restore balance to our courts.”
Feinstein’s decision sets up a potential contest between Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) over who will replace Feinstein as the top-ranking Democrat on the Judiciary panel.
Durbin on Monday evening announced he would make a bid to replace Feinstein atop the committee.
“I intend to seek the top Democratic position on the Judiciary Committee in the 117th Congress,” he said in a statement. “I have served on the committee for 22 years and I am its most senior member who does not currently serve atop another Senate Committee.
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