Feinstein added that she intends to turn her attention to tackling climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
Before Barrett’s hearing, members of her own party had raised concerns that the 87-year-old would not be aggressive enough. Her approach to the battle to fill the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg soon confirmed the fears of many Democrats, especially after she praised and hugged Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for handling the trial to the conclusion.
Shortly after the hearings, several liberal groups called on her to step down from her position. One of these groups, Demand Justice, welcomed their decision to resign.
“This was a necessary step if the Democrats are ever to wisely address the damage Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have done to federal justice,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice. “Going forward, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee must be led by someone who does not want to cling to a bygone era of courtesy and decency that Republicans gave up long ago.”
After the hearings, Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate Minority (D-N.Y.), Said he had a “long and serious” conversation with Feinstein. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Senate Minority Whip, is next, followed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
Durbin announced his interest in the Post later Monday night.
“I intend to seek the highest democratic position on the Judiciary Committee at the 117th Congress,” he said. “We have to roll up our sleeves and work to repair the damage of the past four years and to protect basic civil and human rights.”
Some of Feinstein’s colleagues praised their tenure after their announcement. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), A member of the Justice Committee, said Feinstein was “a steadfast and strong voice for the rule of law against a government that is constantly threatening it,” and looks forward to working with it.
Schumer said he was “deeply grateful” for Feinstein’s leadership on the committee, adding, “I know Senator Feinstein continues her work as one of the country’s leading advocates on women’s rights and voting rights, gun safety reform, civil liberties, health care and health will continue the rights of immigrants who yearn to become citizens of this great country. “
Should Democrats win the Senate in two Georgia runoffs, chairing the judiciary committee would be an extremely important task for the party. But even if the Democrats fail there, pressure must be put on the Republicans to postpone the nominations for President-elect Joe Biden.