Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California embraced Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham at the close of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings yesterday, publicly thanking him for a job well done.
“I just want to thank you, this has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in and I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth,” Feinstein said to Graham at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions and even some ideas perhaps of good bipartisan legislation we can put together to make this great country even better,” she added.
Progressive groups including Demand Justice and NARAL Pro-Choice America have called on Feinstein to step down from her position, and California Democratic House Rep. Katie Porter became the first prominent member of Congress to publicly criticize Feinstein’s handling of the hearings today.
The freshman congresswoman told HuffPost that she disagrees strongly with Sen. Feinstein “that that set of hearings was one of the best or was even acceptable.”
She continued that she thought “Amy Coney Barrett did not answer basic questions about her beliefs and stonewalled repeatedly. We got many fewer direct answers than we have out of most Supreme Court hearings.”
Porter is considered a rising star in the Democrat party and received publicity in June for badgering HUD Secretary Ben Carson by asking what a basic term, an REO, was. He responded by asking if she meant, “an Oreo?”
Brian Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice, which opposes conservative nominees to the courts believes “It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to step down from her leadership position on the Senate Judiciary Committee. If she won’t, her colleagues need to intervene.”
According to the AP, Feinstein’s office declined further comment, but pointed to the senator’s statement.
Feinstein said, “Judiciary Committee Democrats had one goal this week: to show what’s at stake under a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court — and we did that. We showed that Judge Barrett has a long history of opposing the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade and represents the vote to overturn both.”
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