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Lindsey Graham Formally Blocks Schumer Naming Replacement for Feinstein on Judiciary Committee

AP Photo/Alex Brandon


Upon asking the Senate to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) by unanimous consent, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) request was formally blocked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the ranking member on the committee.


Earlier in the day, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre echoed the point made by many other Democrats, which is that Feinstein has had "an impressive career" and that "this a decision for her to make when it comes to her future."


The calls for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to resign have been ramping up with increased ferocity, though so are those urging temperance on the matter, as she's been out due to shingles and now complications. While she has not resigned, Feinstein has taken note of how her absence from the Senate Judiciary Committee is creating anxiety for her fellow Democrats when it comes to confirming judicial nominees, and has asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to name her replacement on the committee. It's a move Republicans and at least one Democrat do not seem to be on board with, though.

According to CNN's Manu Raju, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), not only won't call for her resignation, which he called "ridiculous," but also said he wouldn't support replacing her on the committee. 


This is certainly not the first time Manchin has gone along with siding with Republicans on legislation and on nominees. As Raju also tweeted, he is described as "non-committal" on Julie Su, the nominee for Secretary of Labor, and that he has "no comment."

Leader Schumer had communicated on Monday he would put forth a resolution, which he wanted to discuss with Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY), about, who himself had just returned following a fall. McConnell himself has communicated that Schumer will not get help from Republicans, though. 

"Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporary absent colleague off the committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominees," he told Raju. 

Among the first to communicate that they would not support naming a resolution were Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), who are both on the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

"The left doesn't know to define a woman, but they sure know how to discriminate against one," Sen. Blackburn shared with Townhall when asked for further comment. Blackburn memorably asked now Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson if she could define a woman during her confirmation hearing last year, though she claimed could not, as she's "not a biologist."


Sen. Cotton has also since tweeted doubling down on his opposition, with a reference to how poorly Democrats treated now Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

The subject of Republican opposition has certainly made headlines. The Monday morning POLITICO Playbook detailed "No GOP favors for Feinstein." Tuesday morning's Playbook edition also referenced a Monday night report which listed Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) as those opposed. Cornyn and Tillis are also on the committee. 

Members such as Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Dean Phillips (D-MN) have publicly called on Feinstein to resign, although it's worth noting that Khanna supports Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who is running to replace the retiring Feinstein in the 2024 elections, and that Lee would fulfill Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D-CA) criteria of appointing a black woman to replace Feinstein.

The POLITICO report also quotes Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) who shared "I’m sure we’re going to be talking about this as a caucus this week." Particularly telling is how he added "These are the kinds of discussions where you really kind of have to get in the room to think it through. We haven’t started those discussions yet."


Later on Tuesday, Raju announced that Schumer is looking to replace Feinstein with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). There  needs to be 60 votes though in favor, something that is looking increasingly unlikely.

Perhaps most telling of all is that Schumer seemed less than forthcoming when asked if Feinstein is expected to return in May, now just a few weeks away, and if she would return if not. He merely said "soon."


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