(UnitedVoice.com) – Questions about Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) ability to serve have been at the forefront of conversations for months. She has had numerous health problems in the last year. At 90 years old, she’s the oldest senator in office. Recently, she gave up her power of attorney — but remains on the job.
Power of Attorney
On August 3, Business Insider reported Senator Feinstein’s daughter, Katherine Feinstein, has power of attorney over an unspecified amount about her mother’s affairs. The former San Francisco judge, who now serves as the city’s fire commissioner, filed a lawsuit on the senator’s behalf in July. The case is against late investor Richard Blum’s trust, the elder Feinstein’s former husband.
The website reportedly obtained records that show Katherine identified herself as an “attorney in fact” for Feinstein.
The New York Times reported on the battle between Feinstein and her late husband’s three daughters. It reportedly stems from an attempt by the senator to sell a beach house in a posh San Francisco neighborhood. Feinstein also wants to access Blum’s insurance proceeds so she can pay her medical expenses. In addition, the paper reported that Katherine has power of attorney over the senator’s legal affairs.
What Is Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is someone who is allowed to make decisions for someone else in matters related to health, finances, and legal issues. While it is sometimes used when a person can no longer make decisions for themselves, that’s not always the case. For example, Katherine might have power of attorney over her mother’s legal affairs but not her healthcare decisions.
Thus far, the senator seems unwilling to explain more than what’s publicly known.
Feinstein was once viewed as one of the most influential senators in the Democratic caucus. However, her standing with the party has been diminishing for years. In 2020, the senator hugged her friend Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), after hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrapped up. Democrats were outraged and began calling for her to resign.
In February 2023, the senator suffered complications after getting shingles. The rash was on her face and neck, which reportedly caused her to come down with Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The syndrome impacted the facial nerves causing paralysis on one side of her face. She also had blurred vision and balance issues.
The shingles infection caused her to have encephalitis, a brain swelling. Her spokesperson said it resolved itself in March, but she was still out of the Senate until mid-May. When she returned, reports indicated that she seemed confused and disorientated.
Recently, some people have noted that she doesn’t appear to know what’s happening during hearings, leading to more questions about her fitness to serve.
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