United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary

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Senate Judiciary Committee
Standing committee
Active
Seal of the United States Senate.svg
United States Senate
116th Congress
History
FormedDecember 10, 1816
Leadership
Chair Lindsey Graham (R)
Since January 3, 2019
Ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D)
Since January 3, 2017
Structure
Seats22 members
Political partiesMajority (12)
Minority (10)
Jurisdiction
Policy areas Federal judiciary, civil procedure, criminal procedure, civil liberties, copyrights, patents, trademarks, naturalization, constitutional amendments, congressional apportionment, state and territorial boundary lines
Oversight authority Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, federal judicial nominations
House counterpart House Committee on the Judiciary
Meeting place
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Dirksen226.jpg
Website
judiciary.senate.gov
Rules
    Sonia Sotomayor testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on her nomination for the United States Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor on first day of confirmation hearings.jpg
    Sonia Sotomayor testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on her nomination for the United States Supreme Court

    The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, informally the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of 22 U.S. Senators whose role is to oversee the Department of Justice (DOJ), consider executive and judicial nominations, and review pending legislation. [1] [2]

    Contents

    The Judiciary Committee's oversight of the DOJ includes all of the agencies under the DOJ's jurisdiction, such as the FBI. It also has oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Committee considers presidential nominations for positions in the DOJ, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the State Justice Institute, and certain positions in the Department of Commerce and DHS. It is also in charge of holding hearings and investigating judicial nominations to the Supreme Court, the U.S. court of appeals, the U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade. [1] The Standing Rules of the Senate confer jurisdiction to the Senate Judiciary Committee in certain areas, such as considering proposed constitutional amendments and legislation related to federal criminal law, human rights law, immigration, intellectual property, antitrust law, and internet privacy. [1] [3]

    History

    Established in 1816 as one of the original standing committees in the United States Senate, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary is one of the oldest and most influential committees in Congress. Its broad legislative jurisdiction has assured its primary role as a forum for the public discussion of social and constitutional issues. The Committee is also responsible for oversight of key activities of the executive branch, and is responsible for the initial stages of the confirmation process of all judicial nominations for the federal judiciary. [4]

    Members, 116th Congress

    MajorityMinority


    Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, is the current Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Lindsey Graham, official photo, 113th Congress (cropped).jpg
    Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, is the current Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Historical membership

    Members, 115th Congress

    MajorityMinority

    In January 2018, the Democratic minority had their number of seats increase from 9 to 10 upon the election of Doug Jones (D-AL), changing the 52–48 Republican majority to 51–49. On January 2, 2018, Al Franken, who had been a member of the committee, resigned from the Senate following accusations of sexual misconduct.

    Members, 114th Congress

    MajorityMinority

    Source: 2013  Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page  S296 to 297

    Current subcommittees

    SubcommitteeChairRanking member
    Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Mike Lee (R-UT) Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Border Security and Immigration John Cornyn (R-TX) Dick Durbin (D-IL)
    The Constitution Ted Cruz (R-TX) Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
    Crime and Terrorism Josh Hawley (R-MO) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
    Intellectual Property Thom Tillis (R-NC) Chris Coons (D-DE)
    Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts Ben Sasse (R-NE) Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

    Chairs since 1816

    ChairPartyStateYears
    Dudley Chase Democratic-Republican Vermont 1816–1817
    John J. Crittenden Democratic-Republican Kentucky 1817–1818
    James Burrill, Jr. Federalist Rhode Island 1818–1820
    William Smith Democratic-Republican South Carolina 1819–1823
    Martin Van Buren Democratic-Republican New York 1823–1828
    John M. Berrien Jacksonian Georgia 1828–1829
    John Rowan Democratic-Republican Kentucky 1829–1831
    William L. Marcy Jacksonian New York 1831–1832
    William Wilkins Jacksonian Pennsylvania 1832–1833
    John M. Clayton Anti-Jacksonian Delaware 1833–1836
    Felix Grundy Jacksonian Tennessee 1836–1838
    Garret D. Wall Democratic New Jersey 1838–1841
    John M. Berrien Whig Georgia 1841–1845
    Chester Ashley Democratic Arkansas 1845–1847
    Andrew P. Butler Democratic South Carolina 1847–1857
    James A. Bayard, Jr. Democratic Delaware 1857–1861
    Lyman Trumbull Republican Illinois 1861–1872
    George G. Wright Republican Iowa 1872
    George F. Edmunds Republican Vermont 1872–1879
    Allen G. Thurman Democratic Ohio 1879–1881
    George F. Edmunds Republican Vermont 1881–1891
    George Frisbie Hoar Republican Massachusetts 1891–1893
    James L. Pugh Democratic Alabama 1893–1895
    George Frisbie Hoar Republican Massachusetts 1895–1904
    Orville H. Platt Republican Connecticut 1904–1905
    Clarence D. Clark Republican Wyoming 1905–1912
    Charles Allen Culberson Democratic Texas 1912–1919
    Knute Nelson Republican Minnesota 1919–1923
    Frank B. Brandegee Republican Connecticut 1923–1924
    Albert B. Cummins Republican Iowa 1924–1926
    George William Norris Republican Nebraska 1926–1933
    Henry F. Ashurst Democratic Arizona 1933–1941
    Frederick Van Nuys Democratic Indiana 1941–1945
    Pat McCarran Democratic Nevada 1945–1947
    Alexander Wiley Republican Wisconsin 1947–1949
    Pat McCarran Democratic Nevada 1949–1953
    William Langer Republican North Dakota 1953–1955
    Harley M. Kilgore Democratic West Virginia 1955–1956
    James Eastland Democratic Mississippi 1956–1978
    Edward M. Kennedy Democratic Massachusetts 1978–1981
    Strom Thurmond Republican South Carolina 1981–1987
    Joe Biden Democratic Delaware 1987–1995
    Orrin Hatch Republican Utah 1995–2001
    Patrick Leahy [6] Democratic Vermont 2001
    Orrin Hatch Republican Utah 2001
    Patrick Leahy [7] Democratic Vermont 2001–2003
    Orrin Hatch Republican Utah 2003–2005
    Arlen Specter Republican Pennsylvania 2005–2007
    Patrick Leahy Democratic Vermont 2007–2015
    Chuck Grassley Republican Iowa 2015–2019
    Lindsey Graham Republican South Carolina 2019–present

    See also

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    References

    1. 1 2 3 "Jurisdiction". United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
    2. "Senate Committee on the Judiciary". GovTrack. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
    3. "Guide to Senate Records: Chapter 13 Judiciary 1947-1968". National Archives. August 15, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
    4. "History | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
    5. "Members | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
    6. When the Senate convened in January 2001 17 days before President George W. Bush was inaugurated, there was a 50–50 split between Democrats and Republicans with Vice President Al Gore as a tiebreaking vote.
    7. In June 2001, Republican Jim Jeffords declared himself an Independent and caucused with the Democrats, giving the Democrats majority control.