Abortion-advocacy groups have called for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to step down as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee after the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
In an Oct. 16, statement, Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, called for “new leadership” for Democrats on the committee following Feinstein’s polite tone in remarks at the conclusion of the four days of Senate hearings last week.
During the hearing on Thursday, Feinstein thanked Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, for presiding over “one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.”
“I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth,” she said.
“It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions, and even some ideas–perhaps some good bipartisan legislation we can put together to make this great country even better,” said Feinstein, who is pro-choice, has not supported the nomination of Barrett to the Supreme Court, and has in the past criticized the judge’s Catholicism.
The two senators then shook hands and embraced.
Feinstein’s remarks to Graham, Hogue alleged, lent an “appearance of credibility to the proceedings,” one that is “widely out of step with the American people.”
“As such, we believe the committee needs new leadership,” she said, calling Barrett’s confirmation process “illegitimate” and “a sham.”
Hogue said that Barrett, a Catholic, an appeals court judge, law professor, and mother of seven, poses “a grave threat to every freedom and right we hold dear and tears the very fabric of our democracy….”
NARAL was not the only organization calling for Feinstein to step down from her position. The group Demand Justice started a petition drive calling for Feinstein to resign from the committee, stating that the senator’s “behavior during Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings demonstrates that she is only standing in our way of fighting to protect our courts….”
Justice Democrats, which aims to elect progressive candidates to Congress, echoed the calls for Feinstein to depart from the Judiciary Committee, tweeting “Dianne Feinstein must step down….”
The above comes from an Oct. 19 story on the site of the Catholic News Agency.