Democrats are said to fear that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is not up for the task of leading her party’s effort to stop Senate Republicans from confirming the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court.
Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, is widely respected by senators in both parties, but she has noticeably slowed in recent years. Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic senators and aides show widespread concern over whether the California Democrat is capable of leading the aggressive effort Democrats need against whoever President Donald Trump picks to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. […]
Feinstein sometimes gets confused by reporters’ questions, or will offer different answers to the same question depending on where or when she’s asked. Her appearance is frail. […]
[A] senator said there have been discussions among some Democrats about making changes to the seniority system next year due to their concerns over Feinstein.
“She’s not sure what she’s doing,” a Democrat senator said about Feinstein.
Yet, in an interview with Politico, Feinstein attempted to downplay concerns about her preparedness for the third Supreme Court nomination process under President Donald Trump.
“I’m really surprised and taken aback by this. Because I try to be very careful and I’m puzzled by it,” Feinstein said. “My attendance is good, I do the homework, I try to ask hard questions. I stand up for what I believe in.”
In 2017, Feinstein drew outrage when she raised concerns about reported SCOTUS nominee frontrunner Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic beliefs during the judge’s nomination hearing for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
“I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” the senator told Barrett.
“And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have thought for, for years in this country.”
In 2018, Feinstein infamously sat on allegations by Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her decades prior. An FBI investigation into Kavanaugh found “no corroboration” of the misconduct allegations.
Author: Joshua Caplan