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Liberals Calling for Dem Senator To Resign As Absence Stopping Biden’s Judicial Nominees

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Democrats have a razor-thin majority in the Senate of precisely one vote at 51 – 49, but that majority has been ruined by one Democrat senator.

The 89-year-old California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been MIA for a variety of issues, which has made it tough for President Joe Biden to get new judges approved and presents a challenge for the rest of his agenda.

The president and Democrats have countered a massive number of judicial appointments by former President Donald Trump by having 118 judges approved by the end of March, that is until Sen. Feinstein disappeared, grinding the judicial nominees to a halt.

In March, Reuters reported that “only two candidates for lifetime positions as judges appeared before [the House Judiciary Committee] for its first judicial nominations hearing in five weeks, even though two of President Joe Biden’s other nominees were pending long enough to appear before it too.”

New Republic reported:

Dianne Feinstein, the 89-year-old senior senator from California, was reportedly hospitalized for shingles last month, forcing Democrats, who now hold a one-seat majority on the Judiciary Committee, to cancel multiple markup sessions. As Bloomberg reported recently, Feinstein’s absence—along with Durbin’s own after he caught Covid-19—meant that the Judiciary Committee “also missed three other opportunities to schedule those meetings in March. Delays have prevented 10 nominees, ripe for markups from getting votes.” Durbin himself acknowledged Feinstein’s absence has “of course” had ramifications on Democrats’ ability to appoint judges on Monday.

This is unacceptable. It is also, like Durbin’s continued inexplicable deference to blue slips, easily resolvable. It is time for Feinstein to resign her seat. In fact, it’s long past time for her to bring her career to a close. For the past several years, there have been escalating concerns that she is no longer up to the task of serving as a U.S. senator. In December 2020, Politico reported that there was “widespread” fear among Democrats that Feinstein was starting to slip—which is understandable, given her age. (Feinstein, who has served in the Senate since 1992, is the oldest sitting senator.) Aides and other senate staffers told Politico that the then-87-year-old frequently “gets confused by reporters’ questions, or will offer different answers to the same question depending on where or when she’s asked,” and appears “frail.”

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“Dianne Feinstein has missed 58 Senate votes in the last month because of illness/being 89 years old. Biden can’t confirm any federal judges without all Dems present on the Judiciary Committee. She’s given no indication of a return date,” one Twitter user said.

“Now that she is my Senator I finally feel even more emboldened to say: RESIGN. Do you know how many lifetime-appointed judges Trump was able to push through (like the one who just invalidated the FDA approval of mifepristone)? This is an emergency,” she said.

“Dianne Feinstein should resign from the Committee today,” another said.

“Dianne Feinstein needs to resign – today. Her absence hurts not only the interests of California but is also a threat to our democracy,” another Twitter user said, using the Democrat catchphrase “threat to our democracy.”

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“It’s time for Dianne Feinstein to resign if she can’t give a return date. I thought they have the best insurance. How come she didn’t get the Shingles vaccine? Crazy,” another said.

“Dianne Feinstein’s absence is causing a huge delay in the confirmation of judicial nominees. It’s clear what needs to happen. She must resign, allowing Gov. Newsom to appoint an active replacement,” another said.

“Wether it’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Dianne Feinstein or for that matter Duck Durbin, it’s just not healthy to treat public office like a medal an official has ‘earned’ & deserve to have out of formal respect for their commitment to public service,” another Twitter user said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said to CNN reporter Manu Raju that Sen. Feinstein’s absence has caused delays in confirming judges.

“I can’t consider nominees in these circumstances because a tie vote is a losing vote in committee,” he said.

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