Los Angeles Times columnist Erika Smith is urging Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to resign so that California Gov. Gavin Newsom can appoint a “Black or Latino” Democrat in her place.
Feinstein was hit with a damning report from The New Yorker that alleged accusations of her “cognitive decline,” which followed severe backlash she received from the left for the hug she gave her colleague, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., after the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
In a piece published in Feinstein’s home state paper on Thursday, Smith suggested that Newsom should be filling two vacant Senate seats instead of just the one replacing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, which means he can appoint both a Black and Latino to the Senate instead of sacrificing one for the other.
“Representation does matter, and the more I listen to Black and Latino leaders demand it on behalf of a state that is becoming more diverse every year, the less I understand why our senior senator is still in office, blocking progress,” Smith wrote. “At 87 years old, Feinstein is the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, a member of the Silent Generation in a state dominated by people under 40. She is a wealthy woman in a state overrun with poverty, and the homelessness that too often accompanies it.”
The columnist explained, “Given all of this, it would make perfect sense for Feinstein to be selfless and retire early with California’s gratitude for a distinguished career. Now is absolutely the time to be an ally to communities of color and let another younger lawmaker represent the evolving values of this state. For to adequately address the many long-standing, race-based disparities in everything from healthcare to housing, California needs a Black senator and a Latino senator.”
While her current term doesn’t end until 2025, Feinstein has already signaled that she will step down as the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.