Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, speaks to the press in the Senate at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on May 31, 2015InternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyFeinstein, who was diagnosed with shingles in February, has missed Senate votes due to her absence which has lasted for about two months. More than 60 progressive grassroots groups have formed a coalition asking Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to resign. The letter includes more than 100,000 Californians who have asked the female senator to step down and focus on her health which has prompted her absence.Feinstein is 89 years old and is the longest-serving female senator in US history. She has already decided not to run again in the year 2024. The coalition, however, has called for her immediate resignation.“Complications from your illness threaten [your] storied legacy. Your absences hobble the elected Democratic Senate majority from doing the work of the people of California and our nation,” the groups wrote.“We ask that you resign from the Senate to focus on your health. Please allow Gov. [Gavin] Newsom to appoint an interim senator who can provide robust and constant representation for California though the election of 2024.”Those who penned the letter include Activate America, Berkeley Now, Change Begins With ME, Democracy Action Marin, Feminists in Action Los Angeles, Generation Blue, and members of the Indivisible movement.Feinstein had announced her plans to step down temporarily on April 12.“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period. Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis,” Feinstein said at the time.Feinstein’s absence from Washington, DC as the Senate Judiciary Committee remains gridlocked on issues that evenly divide Republicans and Democrats. Were Feinstein to be present the Democrats would have an 11-10 majority on the Committee.Earlier this week, Senate Republicans blocked requests from Democrats to temporarily replace Feinstein on the Committee with a temporary fill-in, driving the Senate gridlock into further upheaval. Democrats are hoping to confirm as many of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees as possible while they control the Committee.The gridlocked Committee is also unable to allow Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) to subpoena witnesses for an investigation into the Supreme Court’s ethics rules and reports that Justice Clarence Thomas accepted favors from Texas billionaire Harlan Crow and failed to disclose them on public forms.


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