As America’s ailing Senator Dianne Feinstein misses judicial confirmation votes one after the other, the Republican Party is declaring its intention to resist her request of seating a temporary replacement in the Judiciary Committee. Several eminent Republicans spoke with POLITICO over the weekend concerning the need to obstruct President Joe Biden’s stacks on the courts, even if that means breaking with the idea of honoring the dignity of an ailing colleague. Senator Feinstein was hoping to fend off Senate Democrats’ calls for her full resignation by bringing in a replacement, as Democrats see their legislative ambitions stalled without their slight majority.
BREAKING: Top Republicans are vowing to block a stand-in for Diane Feinstein, as her continued absence stalls Democrats’ judicial confirmations.
Good. Democrats would never allow this so why should we? https://t.co/QjEhcfp0EN
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) April 17, 2023
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a Judiciary member himself, stood behind his colleagues and tweeted, “Republicans should not aid Democrats in approving Joe Biden’s most radical nominees to the courts.”
Republicans should not assist Democrats in confirming Joe Biden’s most radical nominees to the courts. https://t.co/Dq7DFfojVi
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 15, 2023
A senior GOP aide stated that while Senate Republicans deeply respect the 89-year-old Feinstein, it is not in their interest to be seen helping to seat President Biden’s judicial candidates. The caucus would wait for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s signal on the matter, as he prepares to get back to work after a recent health scare. The ranking Republican leader was hospitalized after tumbling down the stairway of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Washington, D.C.
One insider confidant stated, “My instinct is he would do everything he could to keep Democrats from stacking the federal judiciary. It would be a little strange for him to grease the wheels to continue to churn out what heretofore has been a pretty high rate of confirmations for Biden.”
Senator Feinstein’s possible defeat could result in chagrin amongst her Democratic colleagues who are conflicted between giving her the time to recover and calling for her dismissal. California Congressman Ro Khanna recently supported her retirement, while former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi espoused Senator Feinstein to be given the time she needs to recuperate and get back to work.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Senate Republicans as they seek to retain control of the judiciary and stave off what they see is a rampant bid to pack it. The Democrats, on the other hand, seek to reshape the judiciary in a way that reflects their progressive agenda by way of confirmations. As the great political scheme continues to unfold, there is much uncertainty as to what will become of Feinstein, and Republicans will not allow such an opportunity to slip away.