Feinstein resigns committee leadership after left decides she was too nice to Amy Coney Barrett
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California will not continue as ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee when the next Congress convenes in January following unrest within her party over her handling of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings last month.
Feinstein, who infamously faulted Barrett for the perception that the “dogma” of her Catholic faith “lives loudly within you” during the latter’s confirmation to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, grilled her again this year over her views on abortion but was less outwardly hostile and did not renew her attacks on Barrett’s faith.
After the hearings, left-wing and pro-abortion activists attacked Feinstein for her milder approach (and particularly for the sin of hugging Republican Committee chair Sen. Lindsey Graham), with abortion lobbying group NARAL going so far as to declare the committee “needs new leadership” because Feinstein “gave credibility” to a process the abortion lobby had deemed “not legitimate.”
“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 confirmed Monday, Politico reported. “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.”
"This was a necessary step if Democrats are ever going to meaningfully confront the damage Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have done to the federal judiciary," reacted Brian Fallon, executive director of the progressive lobbying group Demand Justice. "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."
Following the news, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, declared his intentions to succeed Feinstein, saying “we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work on undoing the damage of the last four years and protecting fundamental civil and human rights."
The general public overwhelmingly disapproved of attacks on Barrett’s faith, which a number of Democrat leaders such as Feinstein recognized as a liability, especially with the presidential election just a month away. But despite the party’s past experiences, Feinstein’s departure from the post may signal that the Democrat Party’s more strategic, establishmentarian elements have not fully wrested control from the more strident, less patient progressive faction.