Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on becoming ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
“It’s an honor and privilege to follow in the footsteps of Senator Leahy—one of the toughest, most effective senators I know—and become ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I became a senator in 1992—the Year of the Woman—and became the first woman to serve on the Judiciary Committee in the wake of the Anita Hill hearings. So it’s a special honor to be the first woman to become ranking member of this committee, not to mention the first Californian.
“This committee, which touches the lives of so many Americans, will face many tough issues in the coming years, and I’ll do my level best to represent all Americans. One of our first orders of business will be the consideration of a new attorney general and a new Supreme Court justice. After the unprecedented and disrespectful treatment of Merrick Garland—a moderate judge who should have been quickly confirmed—the committee will pay very close attention to proposed nominees to ensure the fundamental constitutional rights of Americans are protected.
“When President-elect Trump is willing to support responsible policies and nominees, I’ll hear him out, but this committee has a vital role to protect the Constitution and scrutinize policies, senior officials and judges very carefully, and that’s what we intend to do. We simply won’t stand aside and watch the tremendous successes achieved over the past eight years be swept away or allow our nation’s most vulnerable populations to be targeted.
“We have a lot of work to do. The Judiciary Committee has shown that it can lead the way toward bipartisan solutions on some of the most controversial issues like immigration reform and sex trafficking. I’m hopeful that we’ll keep that tradition alive. I look forward to sitting side-by-side with Chairman Grassley and getting down to business.”