United States Senate
|Formed||December 10, 1816|
|Chair|| Lindsey Graham (R) |
Since January 3, 2019
|Ranking member|| Dianne Feinstein (D) |
Since January 3, 2017
|Political parties||Majority (12)|
|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|
|226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.|
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
|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)|
|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|
|William L. Marcy||Jacksonian||New York||1831–1832|
|John M. Clayton||Anti-Jacksonian||Delaware||1833–1836|
|Garret D. Wall||Democratic||New Jersey||1838–1841|
|John M. Berrien||Whig||Georgia||1841–1845|
|Andrew P. Butler||Democratic||South Carolina||1847–1857|
|James A. Bayard, Jr.||Democratic||Delaware||1857–1861|
|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|
|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|
|William Langer||Republican||North Dakota||1953–1955|
|Harley M. Kilgore||Democratic||West Virginia||1955–1956|
|Edward M. Kennedy||Democratic||Massachusetts||1978–1981|
|Strom Thurmond||Republican||South Carolina||1981–1987|
|Lindsey Graham||Republican||South Carolina||2019–present|
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of Congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.
The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, also called the House Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is charged with overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts, administrative agencies and Federal law enforcement entities. The Judiciary Committee is also the committee responsible for impeachments of federal officials. Because of the legal nature of its oversight, committee members usually have a legal background, but this is not required.
The nuclear option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a standing rule of the Senate, such as the 60-vote rule to close debate, by a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required to amend the rules. The option is invoked when the majority leader raises a point of order that contravenes a standing rule, such as that only a simple majority is needed to close debate on certain matters. The presiding officer denies the point of order based on Senate rules, but the ruling of the chair is then appealed and overturned by majority vote, establishing new precedent.
Congressional oversight is oversight by the United States Congress over the Executive Branch, including the numerous U.S. federal agencies. Congressional oversight includes the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy implementation. Congress exercises this power largely through its congressional committee system. Oversight also occurs in a wide variety of congressional activities and contexts. These include authorization, appropriations, investigative, and legislative hearings by standing committees; which is specialized investigations by select committees; and reviews and studies by congressional support agencies and staff.
A blue slip or blue-slipping is one of two different legislative procedures in the United States Congress.
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