Feinstein Backs Off From Role As Judiciary Committee Top Democrat

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has long been a thorn in the side of gun rights advocates. She hasn’t always been in a position to actually do much of anything, but she was always there, always ready to offer up some anti-gun piece of legislation. As the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, she was in a place to provide resistance to any pro-gun legislation and to grease the skids for any anti-gun legislation.

Now, though, the Californian senator is stepping down from that role.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California stepped aside as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, opening the high-profile role for a more aggressive or partisan approach as the Senate moves on from President Donald Trump’s administration.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois has an interest in the job, and said he will seek that role with an eye for oversight of actions that were taken taken by the outgoing Trump administration and a to-do list for “future progress of our country.” He would also keep his position in Senate Democratic leadership. The next Democrat in line after Durbin is Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

So what does this mean for gun rights?

Well, much of that will be determined in Georgia. After all, the state has two Senate seats up for grabs. If even one of the incumbents wins re-election, the GOP will maintain their majority and it may well be enough to prevent too much from going through.

However, in the event of a 50-50 split, things can get interesting.

Still, whoever steps into Feinstein’s role will likely be part of a push on gun control.

It would also be the path for legislation on gun control, immigration, voting rights and other Democratic priorities.

In a news release, Feinstein mentioned climate issues facing her home state of California, as well as defeating COVID-19 and protecting access to health care, which she called “critical national priorities that require even more concentration.”

“California is a huge state confronting two existential threats — wildfire and drought — that are only getting worse with climate change,” Feinstein said in the release. “I look forward to continuing to serve as a senior Democrat on the Judiciary, Intelligence, Appropriations and Rules committees as we work with the Biden administration on priorities like gun safety, immigration reform and addressing inequities in criminal justice,” Feinstein said. “I will continue to do my utmost to bring about positive change in the coming years.”

As bad as Feinstein might be on guns, the idea of someone more aggressive on the issue should cause your sphincter to pucker up something fierce. As bad as Feinstein was, whoever comes after her may well be worse.

This just steps up the importance of the races left here in Georgia. The last thing we need to give anyone the power to help push through Biden’s radical anti-gun agenda.

I know, I know, the courts are still working on it, but I’m skeptical anything will come of it, which means I figure we should dig and hope I’m wrong. That means we need to face the possibility that Feinstein’s replacement will be even more anti-gun than she is.

Jun 20, 2021 11:30 AM ET
Jun 18, 2021 7:00 PM ET