If that wasn’t enough to anger Democrats – who spent this week trying to portray Barrett’s nomination process as fictitious – Feinstein also thanked the committee’s chairman, Senator Lindsay O. Graham (RS.C.), and then walked across the room to hug him. hugs.
It doesn’t matter that no senator wore a face mask. Many Democrats were so irritated by the symbolism of the embrace — the final white flag, a compliment to Graham after a relatively tame week of interrogation — that in a few hours at least two groups of liberal activists called for Feinstein to leave.
“It̵7;s time for Senator Feinstein to step down from his senior position on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of Justice of Claims. “If she doesn’t, her colleagues should intervene.”
His organization, which opposes conservative nominees, accused the senator of undermining Liberals’ calls for filibuster and judicial reform, “simply thanking Republicans” for what he called “the loudest seizure of power” in modern High Court history.
Feinstein’s office did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment. Her office gave the Associated Press an explanation from the senator as to why she planned to vote against Barrett’s confirmation.
“This week, the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee had one goal: to show what the Conservative Supreme Court is talking about 6-3 – and we did,” Feinstein said in a statement Thursday. “We have shown that Judge Barrett has a long history of opposing the Affordable Care Act and Rowe vs. Wade and represents a vote to abolish both. “
But while Republicans are quick to reaffirm Barrett before the election – a move that could push the court to the right for decades, potentially affecting abortion and health issues – some fear Feinstein was not fighting for a place that Ruth Bader Ginzburg, a late liberal icon, previously held Justice.
The fact that she praised Graham’s control of the process and then rose up and embraced him was simply the ultimate provocation for many liberals.
“What she can say about this ongoing parody,” said John Lovett, a former aide to President Barack Obama and co-host of “Save Save America,” “is another sad statement about how badly we are represented by Diana Feinstein.”
Feinstein, the former mayor of San Francisco, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, became famous on Capitol Hill, following the CIA and fighting to tighten arms control.
But in recent years, the 87-year-old senator has often paid more attention to her gaffes. Last year, she participated in the “Saturday Night Live” program for the infamous interaction in which she fired a group of students with a request to speak for the “Green New Course”.
And even before the Senate accepted another nomination this month, Democrats expressed concern that Feinstein – the oldest member of his chamber and the second oldest in Congress – had grown too determined to fight the teeth and nails of the GOP for the future of the Ginsburg seat. .
Republicans also condemned Feinstein, using comments she made about Barrett’s religious “dogma” during the 7th District Court of Appeals.
In some ways, the senator still proved justified, creating some of the most telling moments of Barrett’s hearing. According to the AP, Feinstein pressured Barrett as to whether she considered Medicare constitutional and if she agreed with her mentor, the late Judge Antonina Scalia, that the Voting Rights Act “continues racial rights.” (Barrett did not answer any questions directly.)
But many observers on the left gave her poor assessments. For example, she did not wage a major battle against the harem when the committee did not have a quorum, they said.
“I don’t care that Feinstein and Graham are friends,” wrote Susan Hennessy, executive editor of the Lawfare blog. “I’m curious that Feinstein was catastrophically misguided the hearings, outwitted without realizing it, and did a serious disservice to the public.”
Others objected to Feinstein’s positive praise for Graham as he got into a close race against Jamie Harrison, the former leader of the Democratic Party of South Carolina, who had broken fundraising records in recent months.
Many people have come up with ideas on ways to get her to leave the Senate Judiciary Committee, especially if Democrats take away the White House: vote for her. Replace her with Katie Porter (D-California). Appoint her to the office. Send her to Paris!
Or, as comedian Billy Eichner said, “It’s time to retire.”