The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee praised Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday at the end of a four-day confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, saying he was fair and even hugging him.
“I just want to thank you. This has been one of the best set of hearings I have participated in,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat.
“I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth. It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions, and even some good ideas — perhaps some good bipartisan legislation we can put together to make this great country even better,” she added.
The civility between parties is a rare occurrence on Capitol Hill these days with only three weeks before the Nov. 3 elections and with the last Supreme Court confirmation hearings, weighing Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, turning quite divisive between the parties after Democrats accused the president’s high court pick in 2018 of sexual misconduct including gang rape.
None of the allegations were proven true and Justice Kavanaugh vehemently denied them. He was eventually confirmed.
Though Democrats are angry the GOP majority moved forward with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee weeks before the election, the hearing was conducted quite respectfully between both sides.
“That means a lot to me and I know we have very different views about the judge and whether we should be doing all of that but having said that my Democratic colleagues, you have challenged the judge, you have challenged us,” Mr. Graham said in response. “I don’t think anybody crossed the line.”
The two hugged at the end of the hearing, without wearing masks — though masks were kept on in the hearing room by most of the members throughout the week.
The show of respect by Ms. Feinstein isn’t unique. She often complimented Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, who previously chaired the committee during meetings.
The praise and hug did not sit well, however, with the left-wing group Demand Justice, which quickly took to Twitter to criticize the top Democrat on the committee for not doing enough to buck the Republicans during the hearings.
“We’re calling on her to step down as the leader of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee,” the group said in a tweet.