As Judicial Nominees Wait For Sen. Dianne Feinstein To Return, Democratic Frustration Grows

A growing backlog of judicial nominees for federal benches will continue to wait after Republicans blocked an attempt to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) on the Judiciary Committee.

Senators needed to vote unanimously for a new nominee to replace Feinstein temporarily. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) blocked a vote to temporarily place Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) on the committee on Tuesday.

Feinstein, 89, remains home while recovering from severe shingles. She asked senators to temporarily replace her seat on the committee. The senator hoped to return to her assignment following a full recovery.

The move blocks Democrats from confirming more judges to federal benches. The pause in the judicial movement galvanized Democratic House members to speak out against the senator’s decision to maintain her seat while she recovers.


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“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period,” Feinstein said about her diagnosis. “Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis.”

Feinstein, who missed 58 Senate votes since her diagnosis in February, faces a growing list of Democratic members calling for her resignation.

“We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-California) tweeted last week. “While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.”

Ben Shimkus

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