Senator Dianne Feinstein’s daughter takes over some of her legal affairs

What is power of attorney and why did Feinstein give it to her daughter?

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the 90-year-old lawmaker from California, has given power of attorney to her daughter, Katherine Feinstein, according to a document posted by Insider. Power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person to act on behalf of another person in certain matters, such as financial or legal transactions.

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s

Feinstein’s office declined to comment on the report, saying it was a private family matter. However, the document comes amid questions about the senator’s health and cognitive abilities, as well as an ongoing dispute over the estate of her late husband, Richard Blum, who died in January 2023.

According to The New York Times, Feinstein wants to sell a beach house near San Francisco that belonged to Blum, but his children from a previous marriage are opposed to the sale. Katherine Feinstein has filed two lawsuits on her mother’s behalf to gain access to Blum’s estate, which includes his life insurance proceeds. The senator said she needs the money to pay for her medical expenses.

How does power of attorney affect Feinstein’s role as a senator?

Power of attorney does not necessarily mean that Feinstein is unable to make her own decisions or perform her duties as a senator. The document can be limited in scope and duration, and can be revoked at any time by the principal. However, some legal experts and political observers have raised concerns about whether Feinstein should remain in office if she has delegated some of her legal affairs to her daughter.

Steven Braccini, a lawyer for Blum’s trustees who are being sued by Katherine Feinstein, said in a statement that it was unclear why a sitting senator would require someone to have power of attorney over her. He also questioned whether Katherine Feinstein had the authority to file the lawsuits on her mother’s behalf.

Others have pointed out that Feinstein has shown signs of confusion and frailty in recent months. In July 2023, she had to be reminded by an aide to vote “aye” instead of giving a speech during a Senate committee hearing. She also missed several weeks of work earlier this year after being hospitalized with shingles and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

What are the implications of Feinstein’s power of attorney for the Senate and California?

Feinstein is the oldest member of the Senate and the longest-serving senator from California. She was first elected in 1992 and is currently serving her sixth term, which ends in 2025. She is also a senior member of several influential committees, such as Judiciary, Intelligence, and Appropriations.

Feinstein’s power of attorney could have implications for the balance of power in the Senate, which is currently divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking ties. If Feinstein were to resign or become incapacitated before her term ends, California Governor Gavin Newsom would appoint a replacement until a special election is held. Newsom is facing a recall election in September 2023, which could potentially result in a Republican governor taking office and appointing a Republican senator.

Feinstein’s power of attorney could also affect her legacy and influence in California politics. She has been a prominent figure in the state for decades, serving as mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988 and running for governor in 1990. She has been known for her moderate and pragmatic approach on issues such as gun control, immigration, and national security. However, she has also faced criticism from some progressive activists and lawmakers who have urged her to retire or adopt more liberal positions.

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