Sen. Dianne Feinstein is at home after briefly going to the hospital following a fall, according to her office.
“Senator Feinstein briefly went to the hospital yesterday afternoon as a precaution after a minor fall in her home. All of her scans were clear and she returned home.”
ABC News has independently confirmed that she tripped and fell over a chair in her house around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Falls are the leading cause of injury death for adults over 65, causing over 36,000 deaths in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three million older people are treated for falls in emergency departments each year, according to the CDC.
Feinstein’s daughter granted power of attorney
Feinstein’s daughter, Katherine Feinstein, has also been granted power of attorney over her mother in an ongoing legal matter in which Feinstein’s daughter filed a lawsuit against the trust of Richard Blum, Feinstein’s husband who passed away last year.
In a court document, Katherine Feinstein is listed as the senator’s “attorney in fact,” which, according to the American Bar Association, is one way to refer to an individual who has power of attorney over another.
It is not clear why Katherine Feinstein has power of attorney. Her office told ABC News that “this is a private legal matter. Senator Feinstein and her office won’t have any comment.”
There are many reasons to award someone power of attorney, not all of which are health or capacity related.
The American Bar Association notes that convenience, especially in instances where one might need to be present in another state, is a reason people commonly award power of attorney. It’s also relatively common for older people to appoint someone power of attorney for precautionary purposes.
The power of attorney could also be used if a person were to become incapacitated.
It is not uncommon for an older or wealthier person to appoint someone power of attorney.
Feinstein’s previous health issues
Feinstein, 90, returned to the Capitol in May after she was hospitalized in February with a case of shingles. She was released in early March and had been continuing her recovery at home.
After being hospitalized in February, Feinstein’s absence in the upper chamber became a sticking point for some members of her party who become increasingly frustrated with the fact that — without her — Republicans could block Democrats from voting President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Some on the party’s left flank, including California Rep. Ro Khanna and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, argued in May that the federal judiciary could be harmed if Feinstein didn’t step down.
“I want to treat Dianne Feinstein fairly. I want to be sensitive to her family situation and her personal situation,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin said on CNN on May 7. “But the bottom line is, the business of the committee and of the Senate is affected by her absence.”
Feinstein said at the time that she was looking forward to “resuming” her work on the Judiciary Committee.
“The Senate faces many important issues, but the most pressing is to ensure our government doesn’t default on its financial obligations. I also look forward to resuming my work on the Judiciary Committee considering the president’s judicial nominees,” she said.
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