(LibertySociety.com) – On April 12th, 2023, California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein released a statement, requesting for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to name another Democrat Senator to temporarily replace her on the Senate Judiciary Committee due to her continued absence from the Senate amid her ongoing recovery from shingles. Democrats sought to replace her with a unanimous consent vote, which was blocked by Senate Republicans. In a full vote, they would need 10 Republican senators to agree to a temporary replacement for her on her committee assignments. However, GOP members are currently standing in the way of a possible replacement, having blocked a resolution on April 18.
With Feinstein’s absence, the Democrats do not have the upper hand in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has halted the confirmation of judicial nominations from President Joe Biden. Republicans aimed to keep it that way, with many expressing their dissatisfaction with the nominees that have been put forward. Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., voiced her objection to voting for a replacement for Senator Feinstein, stating that she is not on board with Senator Schumer’s plan to “pack the court with activist judges, adding that President Biden is nominating judges to “radically transform America” who are unqualified and ridden with controversy.
Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Senator Thom Tillis, R-N.C., also commented with their opposition to replacing Senator Feinstein. Both Senators spoke of their respect for Senator Feinstein but stated that they would not vote to replace her on her committees. Senator Cornyn cited no prior precedence of ever substituting committee members, making it clear that this instance was no exception. Senator Feinstein has been absent from the Senate since the beginning of March 2023, with no set date to return to her duties. In her statement on April 12th, Senator Feinstein said that she would return to the Senate when she is cleared to travel by her caregivers but did say that she will continue to work from home. President Biden’s nominees will have to wait to be confirmed for a little while longer.
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