Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday said she would not go along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) plan to temporarily replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on the Judiciary Committee, contending the leftists want to “pack the court with activist judges.”
“I will not go along with Chuck Schumer’s plan to replace Senator Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee and pack the court with activist judges. Joe Biden wants the Senate to rubber stamp his unqualified and controversial judges to radically transform America,” Blackburn, a member of the committee, said in a statement Monday.
“Senate Democrats are also attempting to upend precedent and Senate custom by abolishing home-state Senators’ right to object to Biden’s activist liberal judges. We must stand up and protect the Senate’s constitutional role to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees,” she added:
Senate Democrats are also attempting to upend precedent and Senate custom by abolishing home-state Senators’ right to object to Biden’s activist liberal judges. We must stand up and protect the Senate’s constitutional role to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 17, 2023
Blackburn’s statement follows Feinstein, who has been absent well over a month while recovering from shingles, requesting Schumer to temporarily replace her on the committee in order to push Biden’s judicial nominees through.
“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,” Feinstein said in an April 12 statement.
“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,” she continued.
“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,” she added.
Schumer signaled he would like to make the move this week.
“I’d like to do it sometime this week,” he said, according to the Hill.
“I spoke to Sen. Feinstein just a few days ago. She believes she will return soon. She’s very hopeful of that and so am I,” he continued. “We think the Republicans should allow a temporary replacement until she returns.”
“It’s the only right and fair thing to do. That’s the correct thing to do and we hope they will do it,” he said of Republicans.
Schumer’s move comes as Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) called for Feinstein’s resignation.
It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. 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.
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) April 12, 2023
“Maria, I don’t really see why this is actually that controversial of a position,” Khanna said during an appearance on Mornings with Maria, defending his stance.
“It’s a pretty simple principle. I don’t know any job in this country where you can just not show up, have no expectation of returning, and continue to have that job. Senator Feinstein has had a distinguished public service career, but ultimately, she works for the people of California,” he said of the 89-year-old senator.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), another member of the Judiciary Committee, has also expressed opposition to Republicans assisting Democrats with temporarily replacing Feinstein on the committee:
Republicans should not assist Democrats in confirming Joe Biden’s most radical nominees to the courts. https://t.co/Dq7DFfojVi
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 15, 2023
It remains unclear when Feinstein will return to her post.