Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined a chorus of Congress members calling on U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to resign in a Monday post to the exclusive social media app Bluesky.
In an AMA (ask me anything) thread, Ocasio-Cortez responded to an open question about her thoughts on Feinstein, saying she thinks the 89-year-old senator from San Francisco “should retire.”
“I think criticisms of that stance as ‘anti-feminist’ are a farce,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary—precisely where [reproductive] rights are getting stripped. That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees.”
In April, San Jose Rep. Ro Khanna became the first member of the Democratic caucus to call on Feinstein to step down due to a monthslong absence caused by a diagnosis of shingles. Rep. Rashida Tlaib is another House Democrat who joined Khanna in calling for Feinstein to step down.
In an April statement to The Standard, Khanna said that key rulings on women’s abortion rights prompted the call for Feinstein’s resignation. Khanna referred to the recent opinion by a federal judge—appointed by former President Donald Trump—who blocked the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs used for abortions.
“The ruling by an extremist judge in Texas has made it clear that Democrats must act with speed and urgency to confirm judicial nominees who will protect the right to an abortion,” Khanna said. “Senator Feinstein is unable to fulfill her duties and for the good of the people, she should resign.”
Feinstein, 89, checked into a hospital in March with a case of shingles. In a statement responding to Khanna’s call for her resignation, Feinstein said that her return to Washington "has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis."
She asked Senate Leader Chuck Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve in her absence on the Judiciary Committee, and gave no indication she intends to resign.
"I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel. In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco," Feinstein said.
In response to Feinstein’s announcement, Sen. Mitch McConnell said that Republicans would block any effort to temporarily replace Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee.
Josh Koehn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org