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Walz orders flags to fly half-staff in honor of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's life, legacy

Dianne Feinstein, California senator who broke glass ceilings, dies at 90
Dianne Feinstein, California senator who broke glass ceilings, dies at 90 00:20

MINNEAPOLIS — Gov. Tim Walz has ordered the state's flags to fly at half-staff in honor of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. They will begin flying at half-staff immediately, and will remain there until sunset on the day of her internment.

Feinstein, California's first woman senator and a trailblazer of American politics, died Thursday at the age of 90. She championed a range of causes including CIA interrogation tactics, gun control, LGBTQ+ rights and the environment.

"Feinstein was a trailblazer who spent her career fighting for gun safety, environmental protections, and reproductive freedom. Throughout her long career of public service, she worked across the aisle to enact change and improve the lives of Americans. We will continue to honor her life and legacy," Walz said.

The San Francisco native was first elected to the city's board of supervisors in 1969. She became mayor and then won election for a Senate seat in 1992. Five additional terms followed.

Feinstein earlier announced she would retire at the end of her current term next year.

A number of Minnesota politicians have offered statements in the wake of Feinstein's death. Here are some of those testimonials:

"Feinstein was a monumental figure in Congress and paved the way for so many women to serve in the Senate," Sen. Amy Klobuchar said. "I'm grateful I had the opportunity to serve with Senator Feinstein, and I know her legacy will endure."

"Dianne has been part of my political consciousness since I was a young woman at Stanford, watching her lead San Francisco through all the tragedy of Harvey Milk and George Moscone's killing," Sen. Tina Smith said. "She was an icon to me - for her strength, how she threw open the Senate doors for women."

"Feinstein lit the way for women in politics to boldly live their values. Rest in peace," tweeted State Auditor Julie Blaha.

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin called Feinstein an "iconic trailblazer" and "role model for generations of Americans." 

"Senator Feinstein leaves an undeniable legacy, and she will be treasured and remembered for her tenacity, dedication, and vision for a more progressive country," he said.

"I mourn the loss of a remarkable trailblazer this morning. Sen. Feinstein was a blessing to our nation and an inspiration for its future. May her memory be for a blessing," Rep. Dean Phillips tweeted.

Phillips earlier this year called for term limits in the wake of Feinstein's absence from the Senate while battling health issues, writing "For goodness sake, the family, friends, and staff of Senators Feinstein and McConnell are doing them and our country a tremendous disservice. It's time for term limits for Congress and the Supreme Court, and some basic human decency."

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