Who Will Replace Dianne Feinstein?

With California Senator Dianne Feinstein still absent from the Senate, Democrats are seeking to temporarily replace the 89-year-old senator on the all-important Senate Judiciary Committee. But at least three Republican committee members have already said they won’t support the move, ABC News reported.

On Monday, Judiciary Committee Republican John Cornyn (R-TX) became the most recent committee member to express opposition to temporarily filling Feinstein’s committee seat.

Cornyn argued that the Senate has never permitted temporary replacements on its committees. He said Republicans would not “break this precedent” just to “bail out” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer or President Biden’s “most controversial nominees.”

Calling Feinstein a “mainstay” of the Senate for over thirty years, Cornyn said he hoped to see her return to the Senate soon. But until she does return, Cornyn added, Biden’s “most controversial” and “partisan judicial nominees will have to wait.”

Last week, Senator Feinstein said she had to extend her absence from the Senate to recover from complications due to shingles and requested that someone temporarily fill her place on the Judiciary Committee. Majority Leader Schumer said he would approve her request.

But Republicans are refusing to go along with the plan, meaning the Senate will not be able to approve a temporary replacement through a unanimous consent vote. It takes only one senator to block such a vote.

Judiciary Committee member Tom Cotton (R-AK) tweeted that no Republican senator should “assist Democrats” so President Biden’s “most radical nominees to the courts” can be confirmed.

Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, also a Judiciary Committee member, tweeted on Monday that she would not help Schumer replace Feinstein on the committee. Blackburn noted that the president wants the Senate to “rubber stamp his unqualified and controversial judges” who would “radically transform America.”

The Senate would need 60 votes to approve a temporary replacement for Feinstein, meaning ten Republican Senators would have to join with the Democrats in the vote.