Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) walks through the Senate Subway on her way to a vote at the U.S. Capitol on September 12, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Dies at 90

California's longest-serving senator suffered a string of health crises in recent months, sparking concerns about her fitness for office and calls for her resignation.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California's longest-serving senator, has died at 90.

In recent months, Feinstein faced calls from fellow Democrats to step aside as she suffered a string of health crises that forced her to miss dozens of votes and compromised her party's ability to advance judicial nominees.

As the Associated Pressreported, "One of Feinstein's most significant legislative accomplishments was early in her career, when the Senate approved her amendment to ban manufacturing and sales of certain types of assault weapons as part of a crime bill that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994."

The ban expired in 2004, and a Feinstein-led attempt to renew it in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre was unsuccessful.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this month that he would make an "interim appointment" to fill Feinstein's seat in the case of a vacancy.

Three prominent Democrats—Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff—are running for the seat in 2024. Newsom said he would not appoint any of them on an interim basis.

In a statement following news of Feinstein's death, Newsom said she "was many things—a powerful, trailblazing U.S. senator; an early voice for gun control; a leader in times of tragedy and chaos."

"But to me," he added, "she was a dear friend, a lifelong mentor, and a role model not only for me, but to my wife and daughters for what a powerful, effective leader looks like."

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