As if the in-fighting and partisan attacks seen on display every single day by elected leaders in Washington, D.C. wasn’t enough of an example how divided we are as a country, the point was hammered home this week when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he had a “long and serious talk” with fellow Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein over her questioning of Amy Coney Barrett during the Senate confirmation hearings for her.
Feinstein is the senior senator from California and serves as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was the panel Barrett appeared in front of. Critics were all over Feinstein when the hearings concluded about her line of questioning of Barrett, and then they centered on the hug she shared with Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, her longtime Republican colleague who is the chairman of the committee. That kind of civility is a no-no in this political climate, and Feinstein has heard about it daily since then.
Things get complicated because of Feinstein’s status with the Judiciary Committee. If the Democrats were to control the Senate after this election, she would stand to replace Graham as the chair, so there have been calls for her to give up her role on the panel now.
Ellis Hogue is the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the people who wants Feinstein off the panel, saying in a statement, “Amy Barrett and this power grab pose a grave threat to every freedom and right we hold dear and tears the very fabric of our democracy. The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, failed to make this clear and in fact offered an appearance of credibility to the proceedings that is wildly out of step with the American people.
No word yet from Feinstein’s side regarding if the 87-year old plans on stepping down.