WASHINGTON – Senator Dianne Feinstein said Monday that she will step down as the chief Democrat on the Justice Committee at her new session of Congress beginning in early 2021, reaping the victory for progressives who have asked to step down.
“After four years as a senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, I will not seek the presidency or rankings at the next Congress,” the California Democrat said in a statement.
Feinstein, 87, said he still wants to stay on the committee. He was re-elected in 2018 for a six-year term and his term will only expire at the end of 2024.
The senator was heavily criticized by progressives after praising Senate Justice President Lindsey Graham, RS.C., for handling the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court hearing and hugging her after the trial ended on Oct. 15.
– I just want to thank you. It was one of the best hearings I attended, ”Feinstein told Graham in the committee room. – Thank you very much for the leadership.
Progressive groups including Demand Justice, NARAL and MoveOn.org have called on Feinstein to step aside, accusing him of underlining the party’s message against Republicans holding a Supreme Court hearing on the eve of the 2020 election after being rejected President Barack Obama’s leadership in 2016.
“It was a necessary step if Democrats ever wanted to make sense of the damage that Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell had done to the federal judiciary,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, who led Feinstein’s call for secession. “From now on, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee must be led by a person who is undesirable to cling to a bygone era of civilism and decoration that Republicans have long since abandoned.”
On October 20, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. he said, “I had a long and serious conversation with Senator Feinstein. That’s all I’m going to say about it now. “
On Monday, Schumer praised Feinstein for his work, saying, “Senator Feinstein’s experience, decades of relationship with President-elect Biden, and leadership on all these issues will continue to be of value to our constituency in California and the country as we begin the new term with the new president. “
Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin said Monday night that he would run for Feinstein as the committee’s chief Democrat, pointing out that he had served in it for 22 years and was the oldest Democrat to not serve on the committee.
“Over the past four years, Republicans leading the Senate Judiciary Committee have turned a blind eye to the most serious abuses of the Trump era,” Durbin said in a statement. “While President Trump challenged the constitution, the Judiciary Committee relinquished its oversight responsibilities and hardly turned into a conveyor belt for ideological and largely under-trained judicial candidates. The tasks of the Senate Judiciary Committee are long and critical for the future development of our country. “
It is unclear whether the Democrats will be in the majority or in the minority in January – two Georgian election elections will determine the chamber’s balance of power.
“I look forward to continuing to serve as a senior Democrat on the Committees on Justice, Intelligence, Appropriations and Regulations, while working with the Biden administration on priorities such as arms security, immigration reform and tackling inequalities in criminal justice,” he said. Feinstein on Monday. “I will continue to do my utmost to bring about positive change in the years to come.”