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Civics & Democracy

Sen. Feinstein Asks For A Temporary Judiciary Committee Replacement As She Recovers From Shingles

A white woman in a blue jacket and pearl necklace speaks while seated in a chair.
File: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Getty Images)
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Dianne Feinstein, who has represented California in the U.S. Senate since 1992, is asking Democratic leaders to appoint another Democrat to serve in her place on the Senate Judiciary Committee until she recovers from shingles and returns to work.

Feinstein, 89, has been out for a month. Criticism has grown for Feinstein missing committee meetings — and stalling judicial appointments.

She already announced she will not run in 2024. Three prominent Democratic members of Congress have announced they will seek her seat: Barbara Lee of Oakland, Katie Porter of Orange County, and Adam Schiff of Los Angeles.

Calls on her to resign

Just hours before she asked for a stand-in on the Judiciary Committee, two House Democrats called on her to resign — now.

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Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley, said in a statement that it was time for Feinstein to step aside.

"We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty," he said. "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."

Following Khanna's call for Feinstein to resign, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota said he agreed.

"Senator Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable," Phillips said. "But I believe it’s now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain quiet."

Feinstein's statement

“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period. Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis. I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel. In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco."

"I understand that my absence could delay the important work of the Judiciary Committee, so I’ve asked Leader Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve until I’m able to resume my committee work."
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