- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, said Wednesday that she didn’t want to see the Senate “bow down” to an “executive demand” after President Trump said he’d urge Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to trigger the “nuclear option” if enough Democrats try to block his Supreme Court nominee.

“Well, that’s interesting. That’s another threat in a long line of threats,” Mrs. Feinstein, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on MSNBC.

“This Congress needs to stand on its own. We are a separate branch of government, we do have our ideals, many of us are experienced and have been here for awhile, and I don’t want to see the Senate of the United States bow down to an executive demand like this,” she said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump announced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his pick to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Some Democrats have already indicated they’ll oppose the pick, potentially leaving Mr. McConnell with a decision on whether he wants to push for lowering the 60-vote threshold for a filibuster if there isn’t enough bipartisan support.

Mrs. Feinstein also said it’s important for people to “get over” what happened to Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama last year to fill the vacancy, but that lingering feelings from that experience can’t be ignored.

“The process is important, and it’s important that we carry it out,” she said.

“It’s also important, I think, that we get over what happened last year,” she said. “And this is hard to do, because it went on and on for months, and the humiliation it caused a very good man resounds with all of us still.”

“And so I think there has to be an understanding that a real mistake was made in the way Merrick Garland was handled. We’ve got to recover from it. We’ve got to go on. I think we should go on, but it’s there,” she said.

Judge Garland was nominated by Mr. Obama last March to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But Republicans refused to hold hearings or a vote on the nomination during an election year, saying the pick should fall to the next president.

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