NARAL Pro-Choice America is calling for Sen. Dianne Feinstein to be replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee after she called Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings “the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” Many Democrats and progressive groups argue that Barrett’s nomination and confirmation hearings are “illegitimate” because the election is just weeks away and millions of people have already voted.
Feinstein, who at 87 is in the most vulnerable age range to be susceptible to the coronavirus, was also receiving criticism for not only not enforcing COVID19 testing for all members, but also openly embracing Senate Judiciary Lindsey Graham, who had refused to take a test before both the hearing as well as a Senatorial debate in South Carolina against his opponent, Jaime Harrison, which resulted in the debate’s cancellation.
While the hearings had been met with plenty of outrage, Feinstein’s behavior only added to the outcry. “I just want to thank you, this has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in and I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth,” Feinstein told Graham on Thursday. “It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions, and even some ideas perhaps of good bipartisan legislation we can put together to make this great country even better.”
Feinstein’s comments were immediately met with criticism both on and off of the hill.
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 16, 2020
Feinstein’s apparent eagerness to remain friendly amid a contentious nomination process just weeks before Election Day rattled those who had become accustomed to her championing the issues that are most important to women.
“Americans–whose lives hang in the balance–deserve leadership that underscores how unprecedented, shameful and wrong this process is,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement Friday. “The Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, failed to make this clear and in fact offered an appearance of credibility to the proceedings that is wildly out of step with the American people. As such, we believe the committee needs new leadership.”
Feinstein has said she will vote against Barrett’s confirmation.