Senate GOP to Block Democrats’ Plan to Temporarily Replace Feinstein on Judiciary Committee

Jackson Richman
By Jackson Richman
April 18, 2023Congress
Senate GOP to Block Democrats’ Plan to Temporarily Replace Feinstein on Judiciary Committee
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks to the Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 2, 2023. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

It appears that the 10 GOP votes needed to join all present Senate Democrats in temporarily replacing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the Senate Judiciary Committee are not there.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has proposed a resolution that would put a Democrat on the committee to temporarily take Feinstein’s seat given the senator’s weeks-long absence as she has been dealing with shingles. Feinstein has reportedly agreed to this move. However, with Democrats controlling the Senate, 50–49, such a resolution will need the support of 10 Republicans in order to overcome a filibuster. Schumer has said he will try to have the resolution passed via unanimous consent, which any one member can object to.

Usually, committee assignments, which are finalized via resolution, get green-lit by the Senate by unanimous consent and very little fanfare.

“The stated reason, the supposed emergency, is that Senate Democrats are unable to push through the small fraction of their nominees who are so extreme and unqualified that they cannot win a single Republican vote,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the Senate floor on April 18.

“Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporarily absent colleague off a committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominee,” McConnell added.

McConnell was joined by other Republicans in the chamber.

“I will vote against any attempt by Senate Democrats to temporarily replace Sen. Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee. I deeply respect Senator Feinstein, but this is an unprecedented request solely intended to appease those pushing for radical, activist judges. This is especially concerning as Senate Democrats seek to end the bipartisan blue slip process so they can bypass advice and consent with home state senators and ram through left-wing judges,” posted Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on Twitter on April 17.

“Sen. Feinstein has been an extraordinary senator and she’s a good friend of mine. During the last two years, there’s been a concerted campaign to force her off the judiciary committee, and I will have no part of that,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

“I don’t think there is any appetite on our side to help what we consider to be controversial or unqualified nominees to get confirmed,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

There are currently 77 federal judicial vacancies with 35 nominees awaiting confirmation. President Joe Biden got 97 judges confirmed in his first two years as president.

Feinstein, 89, has been in the Senate since 1992 and recently announced she will not run for re-election in 2024.

Although the Senate Judiciary Committee is deadlocked 10–10, Schumer could hypothetically bring up the judicial nominees without having them being voted on in the committee as long as no Democrats join all Republicans in opposition. Committee votes on nominees, judicial and otherwise, are not constitutionally required. While there is the committee tradition of the “blue slip” from the senators of a nominee’s home state, it is not a requirement.

From The Epoch Times

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