Calls for Senator Feinstein to Resign; Asks to Step Down From Judiciary Panel

After being absent from the Senate since February because of shingles, many have called for California Senator Dianne Feinstein to resign. Although she has no plans to officially resign, she has asked to step away from the Judiciary Committee indefinitely while she recovers and so President Biden and the US Senate can move forward with judicial nominations. Senator Schumer said he would make that request of the Senate next week.

“I understand that my absence could delay the important work of the Judiciary Committee,” Ms. Feinstein said in a statement on Wednesday night, after two House Democrats publicly called on her to leave the Senate. “So I’ve asked Leader Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve until I’m able to resume my committee work.”

Replacing Ms. Feinstein on the committee would require Democrats to pass a resolution, which would need some degree of bipartisan support — either the unanimous consent of the Senate or 60 votes. It is not clear whether Republicans, who want to hold up President Biden’s judicial nominations, would support such a measure.

Ms. Feinstein has missed 58 Senate votes since February, and Democrats did not want to head into the spring and summer without the ability to move ahead on judicial nominations. Under the Senate’s current rules, a tie vote on a nomination in the committee means it fails and cannot be brought to the floor.

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