(Headline USA) Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said this week that she will not support efforts to oust ailing Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., from the Senate Judiciary Committee, despite Feinstein’s prolonged absence.
Feinstein, 89, was hospitalized last month for shingles and has been missing for much of the Senate’s current term. She has missed 60 of 82 votes taken in the Senate this year, which has prevented Senate Democrats from confirming some of President Joe Biden’s judicial appointments. As a result, a number of prominent Democrats, including House Democratic leader Ro Khanna, D-Calif., have spoken out to demand her resignation.
After Feinstein announced last week that she did not plan to resign before her current term ends, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., suggested that Democrats replace her on the Judiciary Committee so that the committee can get back to confirming judicial appointments.
However, Blackburn, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said she would not support the plan, arguing that Democrats just want to ram through controversial and radical judicial nominees.
“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,” Blackburn tweeted on Monday. “Joe Biden wants the Senate to rubber stamp his unqualified and controversial judges to radically transform America.”
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.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 17, 2023
Blackburn noted that Schumer and company had been happy to violate many political norms in the process of trying to enact their political agenda.
“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,” Blackburn said. “We must stand up and protect the Senate’s constitutional role to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees.”
In order to replace Feinstein, Schumer would need to amend the Senate’s organizing resolution by unanimous consent, which Republicans are unlikely to provide.
He would also need to break a potential filibuster and would need at least 10 Republican votes in this case.