Additional Information on Dianne Feinstein

Additional Information on Dianne Feinstein


• In 1956 Feinstein married Jack Berman, who would eventually become a San Francisco superior court judge. The couple had a daughter, Katherine, and they divorced in 1959. (The daughter, Katherine Feinstein Mariano, later served as a San Francisco Superior Court judge from 2000-12. In 2016, she was appointed to the California State Medical Board by Governor Jerry Brown.)

• In 1966 Feinstein married surgeon Bertram Feinstein, who died twelve years later.

• In 1980 Feinstein married Richard Blum, a wealthy investment banker who later became a member of the University of California Board of Regents.

• In May 2008, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability presented Feinstein with an award for having introduced the Nuclear Policy and Posture Review Act of 2007 (S. 1914).

• During Feinstein’s first term in the Senate, she co-authored the Gun Free Schools Act (1994) and the Hate Crimes Sentencing  Act (1994). She was also instrumental in passing legislation that banned the manufacture, sale, and possession of certain semiautomatic weapons (1994-2004).

• Feinstein supported the death penalty in the 1990s, but she now opposes it.

• Feinstein introduced the Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act (Public Law 107-296) in 2002, which directed that immigration authorities turn over unaccompanied minors to the custody and care of  the Department of Health and Human Services.

• In January 2013, a month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack that killed 20 children and 6 adults, Feinstein and  Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) proposed a national ban on “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The bill was voted down in the Senate by a vote of 60-40.

• In May 2015, Feinstein was one of 14 Democratic senators who wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to “dramatically increase” — to at least 65,000 — the number of refugees from war-torn Syria who would be resettled into American cities and towns. Additional signatories included Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Dick Durbin, Al Franken, Mazie Hirono, Tim Kaine, Amy Klobuchar, Patrick Leahy, Ed Markey, Robert Menendez, Patty Murray, Jeanne Shaheen, and Sheldon Whitehouse.

• Feinstein voted against both Supreme Court nominees named by President George W. Bush: John Roberts and Samuel Alito. She also voted against President Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch. By contrast, Feinstein supported the Obama appointments of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Though the 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland by President Obama was never brought up to a vote, Feinstein praised him highly and urged Republican senators to sit down and talk to him.

• Feinstein in 2017 voted against Kate’s Law, legislation calling for harsher penalties for illegal aliens who re-enter the U.S. after having been deported, denied entry, or otherwise removed.

• Feinstein is a supporter of the the DREAM Act, legislation that aims to legalize and eventually naturalize a large number of illegal-alien teens and young adults who first came to the United States as minors.

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