Feinstein Asks to Be Replaced on Senate Judiciary Committee

She says move would be temporary
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2023 8:14 AM CDT
Feinstein Asks to Be Replaced on Senate Judiciary Committee
Sen. Dianne Feinstein leaves a classified briefing on China at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has asked to be temporarily replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee amid growing concern among Democrats that the 89-year-old will remain absent indefinitely without resigning. Feinstein, the oldest sitting US senator, was hospitalized with shingles in early March and her absence from the powerful committee has made it difficult for Democrats to proceed with judicial nominations, the New York Times reports. In a statement Wednesday night, Feinstein said her return has been delayed by medical complications and she has asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to appoint another Democratic senator to serve on the committee until she can return.

"I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel," Feinstein said, per the AP. "In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco." Feinstein issued her statement hours after a fellow California Democrat, Rep. Ro Khanna, said it was time for her to resign, the Washington Post reports. "We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty," Khanna tweeted. "While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties."

Rep. Dean Philips, a Minnesota Democrat, agreed. Feinstein "is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable," he tweeted. "But I believe it’s now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain quiet." Feinstein, who said in February that she would not seek another term in 2024 but planned to serve until then, has missed around 60 of the Senate's 82 votes so far this year. If she does resign, it will be up to California Gov. Gavin Newsom to replace her.

(More Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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