Sen.Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinVoting machine company denies Trump claims about software issues Top Latino group calls for Padilla as Harris’s Senate replacement Pressure grows on California governor to name Harris replacement MORE (D-Calif.) announced Monday she is stepping down as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee after groups on the left such as NARAL Pro-Choice America criticized her handling of Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettAlito to far-right litigants: The buffet is open Hispanics shock Democrats in deep blue California COVID-19: Justice Alito overstepped judicial boundaries MORE’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing this fall.
Feinstein said Monday that she needs to focus on “two existential threats” facing California, wildfire and drought.
“After serving as the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for four years, I will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress,” she said in a statement.
Feinstein came under scathing criticism after she hugged Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMedia and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Hackers love a bad transition The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaign files for Wis. recount l Secretaries of state fume at Trump allegations l Biden angered over transition delay MORE (R-S.C.) at the end of Barrett’s confirmation hearings and praised the chairman’s handling of hearings.
The collegial gesture was out of step with the Democrats’ messaging that sought to portray the Republicans’ expedited schedule for placing Barrett on the high court before the election as an unfair circumvention of voters after they blocked Judge Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Merrick Garland on list to be Biden’s attorney general: report Defusing the judicial confirmation process MORE’s nomination to the Supreme Court during the 2016 presidential election.