In a Blatant Power Grab, Republicans Are Blocking Dianne Feinstein’s Judiciary Committee Replacement
In news that will surprise no one, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has been ill since early March, can’t get replaced on the Judiciary Committee. Why is that? I’ll give you one guess … that’s right—Republicans! Last week the Senator acquiesced to calls that she be replaced while she recovers from a case of shingles that has kept her from D.C. This request requires consent from members of both parties within the committee and Republicans are refusing. The reason they’re giving is a pure power grab and they’re not even trying to hide it. Their problem with seating a temporary replacement is that it would help the Biden administration’s judicial nominees get pushed through. Gotta love partisanship. America elects its officials, the minority holds us all hostage. Per Huffpost:
“I don’t think Republicans can or should help President Biden’s most controversial nominees,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Monday. “This effort to confirm controversial and in many instances largely unqualified nominees, I don’t think you can expect any Republican cooperation.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), another member of the panel, tweeted: “I deeply respect Senator Feinstein, but this is an unprecedented request solely intended to appease those pushing for radical, activist judges.”
As a reminder, when the GOP was in charge of the Judicial Committee, they rammed through as many judges as they could, filling all the Circuit Judge positions for the first time in 40 years in the summer of 2020, but sure, let’s hold up replacing one Senator who is recovering from a gnarly illness, temporarily, so none of you can do your job. That makes a lot of sense.
To be clear, Democrats do want Feinstein’s replacement seated so they can make progress on judicial nominees. That is their right as the majority party! That is also rightfully her seat on the committee—it is the seat of an elected Democrat and it should be able to be filled by a member of that party.
Susan Collins of Maine is taking some weird white lady feminist approach to all of this that is entirely misguided because Feinstein is the one asking for this replacement. Per the above source:
“During the past two years, there has been a concerted campaign to force her off the committee. I think that’s wrong and I won’t be part of that,” Collins said, alluding to concerns expressed privately by Democrats about Feinstein’s mental acuity in recent years.
What a great way to say nothing, stand for nothing, yet toe your party’s line, Collins!
Look, Senator Dianne Feinstein has done a lot for this country but she is 89 years old, in poor health, and has not been able to do her job for quite some time now, and the Democrat majority hangs by a thread. She’s already said this will be her last term but at what point does the whisper for her to step down become an inevitability? That’s something the Democrats are having to face right now and appear to be divided on. Some are calling explicitly for her to consider retiring early. Via HuffPost:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who also sits on the Judiciary Committee, said that Democrats have many crucial votes coming up, including on the debt ceiling, that would require the California senator’s presence.
“If this goes on month after month after month, then she’s going to have to make a decision with her family and her friends about what her future holds because this isn’t just about California, it’s also about the nation,” Klobuchar told ABC’s “This Week.”
Others think we should just wait this out, like Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand. Per the above source:
“The decision about whether somebody should resign rests on that individual themselves,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told MSNBC’s “Inside With Jen Psaki” Sunday. “I don’t think she should be forced out.”
“We believe a senator should be able to make their own judgments about when they’re retiring,” added Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) during a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union. “She has the right, in my opinion, to decide when she steps down.”
Personally, I think 31 years as a Senator is a good run. Shingles is a deeply unpleasant thing to have, and my goal in life is to work as little as possible so believe me when I tell you I’m going to retire as soon as I can. (Lol, which is never because I’m a millennial so I’ll die working if robots haven’t taken over my job and made me their pet by then.) My thoughts are more aligned with Senator Klobuchar, and I think if Senator Feinstein stepped down, it would tick the Republicans off, because it means California Governor Gavin Newsom would appoint a new Senator, and they hate that guy. Until then, it’s ridiculous they’re not doing their job because of partisanship, but what would you expect from them? It’s dysfunction as usual.
(featured image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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