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Dianne Feinstein: Judiciary Committee Is About Speeding Up Confirmation

Feinstein is not the first senator to take an extended medical absence or face uncomfortable questions about age or cognitive abilities
Dianne Feinstein: Judiciary Committee Is About Speeding Up Confirmation

Feinstein is not the first senator to take an extended medical absence or face uncomfortable questions about age or cognitive abilities.

Feinstein is not the first senator to take an extended medical absence or face uncomfortable questions about age or cognitive abilities.

Dianne Feinstein: Judiciary Committee Is About Speeding Up Confirmation (Photo by: AP News)

 First Senator To Take An Extended Medical Absence From The Senate

Feinstein is not the first senator to take an extended medical absence or face uncomfortable questions about age or cognitive abilities. But the open discussion over her capacity to serve shows just how much the Senate has changed in recent years, with high-stakes partisanship replacing a more collegial, clubby atmosphere.

It also highlights the difficulty, and the sensitivity, surrounding Democrats’ uphill efforts to replace Feinstein’s vote on the influential committee as she recovers from a case of the shingles. Her absence, which comes as her health and memory has noticeably declined in recent years, means that some of Biden’s picks for the federal bench are stalled in committee.

In 2020, Feinstein said she would not serve as the top Democrat on the committee after criticism from liberal advocacy groups about her handling of hearings on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination for the Supreme Court. Earlier this year, Feinstein said she would not serve as the Senate president pro tempore, or the most senior member of the majority party, even though she was in line to do so. The president pro tempore opens the Senate every day and holds other ceremonial duties.

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