Tapper cites RBJ in muscling Dick Durbin to push for Feinstein resignation: ‘How’d that work out for you?’

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D) lasting absence from the Senate due to illness left CNN’s Jake Tapper pressuring Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D) to facilitate her ousting with a callback to a historic misstep for leftists: “How’d that work out for you?”

(Video: CNN)

It has been nearly three months since sidelined Feinstein cast a vote in the Senate before being hospitalized with shingles. While she herself has claimed to have caused no detriment to the work of legislature or the Judiciary Committee, Tapper displayed something akin to lasting trauma Sunday when he reminded Durbin of the 2020 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“I mean, all due respect, sir,” the host said on “State of the Union” after Durbin referred to Feinstein’s absence as a “complicated situation,” “you and your fellow Democrats were very ginger and very polite when it came to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and not pushing her to retire when you had a Democrat majority in the Senate. How’d that work out for you? How’d that work out for Roe v. Wade?”

Ginsburg had died on Sept. 18, 2020, just weeks before the 2020 presidential election leaving just enough time for then-President Donald Trump to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett as her replacement paving the way for the necessary votes to overturn Roe with the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Had Democrats pressured Ginsburg to resign during former President Barack Obama’s administration, the outcome likely would have been different. By that same logic, delayed confirmations through the Judiciary Committee lacking Feinstein’s majority vote could have impacts throughout the federal court system.

Despite that, Durbin didn’t flinch at Tapper insisting pressure be applied to Feinstein and instead responded, “Well, I can tell you that you can play these out and try to guess what the Supreme Court opinions resulting from it will be. The bottom line is, though, we have in the past had members of the Senate — I can think of a handful as I’m sitting here, Democrats and Republicans — who have been absent because of medical conditions for lengthy periods of time.”

“I want to treat Dianne Feinstein fairly. I want to be sensitive to her family situation and her personal situation. I don’t want to say that she is gonna be put under more pressure than others have been in the past. But the bottom line is, the business of the committee and of the Senate is affected by her absence,” he continued.

However, Feinstein disagreed with that final assertion from her colleague as she tweeted Thursday, “The Senate continues to swiftly confirm highly qualified individuals to the federal judiciary, including seven more judicial nominees who were confirmed this week. There has been no slowdown.”

In the same thread, Feinstein went on to make Durbin’s point for him though as she admitted that the evenly split committee had allowed Republicans to stall objectionable nominations without her tie-breaking vote.

“While the Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced eight strong nominees during my absence, I’m disappointed that Republicans are blocking a few in committee. I’m confident that when I return, we will be able to move the remaining qualified nominees to the Senate floor for a vote.”

The 89-year-old Senator announced that she would not be seeking reelection only after candidates began announcing campaigns to vie for the spot in 2024. Should Feinstein retire in advance of the election, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would be expected to appoint a replacement beforehand, likely swaying the ultimate outcome.


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Kevin Haggerty


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