Sidelined 89-year-old Sen. Diane Feinstein says she will return to Senate

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California says she plans to return to the Senate but did not offer a firm date for her return.

She also rejected complaints from within her Democratic Party that her absence while battling shingles is causing President Biden’s judicial picks to come to a standstill.

“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,” she said on Thursday.

Some Democrats have called on Ms. Feinstein, 89, to step down from the Senate amid her health challenges, though others say she deserves time to recover.

Ms. Feinstein wanted to be temporarily replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee so Democrats could confirm some of the more controversial judicial nominations on party-line votes. Republicans blocked the move.

The senator acknowledged that some nominees are stuck in the committee but said the GOP is to blame.

“While the Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced eight strong nominees during my absence, I’m disappointed that Republicans on the committee are blocking a few from moving forward,” she said. “I’m confident that when I return to the Senate, we will be able to move the remaining qualified nominees out of committee quickly and to the Senate floor for a vote.”

Ms. Feinstein was released from the hospital in early March and is recovering at home. She says she will return to Washington once her doctors say it is all right for her to travel.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin on Thursday told CNN his panel cannot proceed with a bill to impose a code of conduct on the Supreme Court justices until Ms. Feinstein returns.

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