Dianne Feinstein has been taking a lot of flak from her fellow Democrats, particularly progressives in the party, and now comes news that the 87-year-old senator will give up her role as the top Dem on the Judiciary Committee. Politico reports that criticism of Feinstein has largely centered around her failure to be aggressive during the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings (remember the Lindsey Graham hug?), with some groups calling for her to resign from her position on the committee as a result. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin has announced he will run for the spot vacated by Feinstein. Roll Call reports that after Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse would be next in line for the job.
"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 said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing to serve as a senior Democrat on the Judiciary, Intelligence, Appropriations and Rules committees as we work with the Biden administration." She says, per CNN, she will now focus on two huge threats to her home state of California—drought and wildfires—as well as the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and access to health care. "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," Demand Justice executive director Brian Fallon says. (Read more Dianne Feinstein stories.)