Sen. Dianne Feinstein requested Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to cease processing judicial nominations until after the inauguration.
The California senator argued that because President Trump has not been reelected, his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, should be the one to continue the process of nominations.
“It is imperative that the Judiciary Committee cease to process judicial nominations and allow President-Elect Biden the opportunity to appoint judges following his inauguration on January 20, 2020,” she said in a letter sent to Graham on Thursday.
The senator further stated that there was historical precedent to back up her request.
“Going back to 1984, the Committee has only twice held a nominations hearing in the lame duck period of a presidential election year — once in 2004, following President George W. Bush’s reelection, and once in 2012, following the reelection of President Obama. Unlike Presidents Bush and Obama, President Trump has lost his reelection bid,” Feinstein said.
As President Trump has lost his reelection bid, Chairman Graham should accordingly cease processing judicial nominations. The Biden-Harris administration deserves the opportunity to nominate judges after Inauguration Day. pic.twitter.com/0Z7IKPqpYh
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) November 12, 2020
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, a spokesman for the Judiciary Committee wrote, “The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to process judges nominated by President Trump. We have confirmed over 220 and look forward to confirming even more.”
After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senate Democrats were angered over Republicans’ confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, saying that the process should have been held until the next president had been confirmed. In 2016, Republicans refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.
In 2016, Graham said, “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”
“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination." pic.twitter.com/quD1K5j9pz
— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) September 19, 2020
Feinstein seemed pleased with the process for Barrett’s confirmation at the time it took place. She gave Graham a hug and said, “This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.”
Source: Washington Examiner: Feinstein requests Graham to ‘cease to process judicial nominations’ until the inauguration