As Confirmation Hearings Wrap, Outcry Over a Hug

Dianne Feinstein's embrace of Lindsey Graham doesn't go over well on the left
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2020 12:16 PM CDT
As Confirmation Hearings Wrap, Outcry Over a Hug
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham listens as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks on Thursday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A hug between Senate colleagues is getting a lot of attention. As Thursday's Supreme Court confirmation hearing wrapped up, Sen. Dianne Feinstein—the top Democrat on the Senate judiciary panel—took time to thank GOP chair Lindsey Graham. "This has been one of the best set of hearings that I've participated in and I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth," Feinstein said, per the Hill, adding "it leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions and even some ideas." But many on the left felt anything but hopeful as Feinstein stood and hugged Graham, who is speeding the confirmation process after reversing his own view on the ethics of that so close to an election.

Brian Fallon, executive director of advocacy group Demand Justice, called for Feinstein to step down from her leadership position, arguing she had handled "the Republican theft of a Supreme Court seat with kid gloves." The hug was particularly irksome to many. For one thing, neither senator was wearing a mask. For another, it seemed to symbolize "a final white flag," per the Washington Post. Lisa Mascaro of the AP writes that "it was the hug that may define—or doom—a long Senate career." But Feinstein credited Democrats with a job well done on Thursday, saying they had fulfilled their goal of showing that "Judge Barrett has a long history of opposing the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade and represents the vote to overturn both." (More Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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