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Sen. Feinstein announces she won't be seeking to remain as top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee

Feinstein pressured from progressive groups following Barrett Supreme Court nomination hearings

Sens. Feinstein and Graham at ACB hearings
Sens. Feinstein and Graham at ACB hearings
(Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)
Updated: November 23, 2020 - 10:59pm

The Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, announced on Monday that she will not be seeking to continue in her position as the top Democrat on the committee.  

She has been the subject of criticism from some progressive groups over her handling of the confirmation process for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.  

The decision came after what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer referred to as a “long and serious talk” he had with Feinstein shortly after the confirmation hearings.

“After serving as the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for four years, I will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress," she said. “I look forward to continuing to serve as a senior Democrat on the Judiciary, Intelligence, Appropriations and Rules committees as we work with the Biden administration on priorities like gun safety, immigration reform and addressing inequities in criminal justice. I will continue to do my utmost to bring about positive change in the coming years.” 

Most of the complaints had to do with Feinstein’s cooperative attitude toward the hearings, though she personally opposed the nomination. Many of the progressives were outraged that the hearings even took place, considering that millions of people had already voted for president in early voting, and that the hearing was occurring so close to the election.