Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she will be stepping down from her role as the top Democrat of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She made this decision after she was hit with backlash from the progressive side of her party for the way she handled the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
“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, according to Fox News.
“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 on priorities like gun safety, immigration reform and addressing inequities in criminal justice,” she added. “I will continue to do my utmost to bring about positive change in the coming years.”
Feinstein was widely criticized by the radical left after she was seen hugging Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at the end of Barrett’s confirmation hearings.
“Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank you,” Feinstein said to Graham as the hearing was ending. “This has been one of the best Senate hearings that I’ve participated in, and I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth.”
“It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions, and even some ideas of good bipartisan legislation we could put together to make this great country even better,” she added.
This infuriated progressives, and the top leftwing groups NARAL Pro-Choice America, Demand Justice, and Fix Our Senate each issued demands that she resign.
“This nomination is illegitimate and this process is a sham,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in a press release last month. “Tens of millions of Americans have already voted and majorities have said unequivocally that they want to choose the next President who should fill this seat.”
“Americans — whose lives hang in the balance — deserve leadership that underscores how unprecedented, shameful and wrong this process is,” she added. “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.”
Former Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign press secretary Brian Fallon, who is head of the progressive group Demand Justice, went after Feinstein as well. He cited a moment in which Feinstein mocked children for demanding that she back the radically liberal Green New Deal.
“If Senate Democrats are going to get their act together on the courts going forward, they cannot be led by someone who treats Sunrise activists with contempt and the Republican theft of a Supreme Court seat with kid gloves,” Fallon said.