Senate Judiciary Committee member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinJane Fonda to push for end to offshore oil drilling in California Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council on Mental Wellbeing — Merck asks FDA to authorize five-day COVID-19 treatment Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE (D-Calif.) strongly defended President Barack Obama's recent, controversial comment that he wanted a Supreme Court nominee with "empathy," saying that Republican critics are deriding a quality most Americans prefer and are only searching for a distraction.

"Empathy is something that most people would like to see in their judges, their doctors, their public officials, in press, and virtually everywhere," Feinstein said.

"Turning it into something that is inherently evil is, I think, a real misinterpretation of what people want," she added. "To me, it's so startling, and it indicates that jurists should only be umpires and count balls and strikes. If that's all it is, you could set up a computer and you wouldn't need a judge... These things are used to move away or create some sense of moral outrage."

-J. Taylor Rushing