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 nominations, and review pending legislation.
In the United States Congress, standing committees are permanent legislative panels established by the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate rules. Because they have legislative jurisdiction, standing committees consider bills and issues and recommend measures for consideration by their respective chambers. They also have oversight responsibility to monitor agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions, and in some cases in areas that cut across committee jurisdictions. Due to their permanent nature, these committees exist beyond the adjournment of each two-year meeting of Congress.
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.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy is a component of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
The State Justice Institute (SJI) is a private, nonprofit corporation that awards grants to improve judicial administration in the state courts of the United States. It was created by the State Justice Institute Act of 1984.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases, such as suits between two or more states, and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about 100–150 of the more than 7,000 cases that it is asked to review.
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.
Gordon Douglas Jones is an American attorney, former prosecutor and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Alabama since 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously was a United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 to 2001.
Alan Stuart Franken is an American comedian, politician, media personality, and author who served as a United States Senator from Minnesota from 2009 to 2018. He became well known in the 1970s and 1980s as a performer on the television comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). After decades as a comedic actor and writer, he became a prominent liberal political activist, hosting The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio.
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, published by the United States Government Publishing Office and issued when Congress is in session. Indexes are issued approximately every two weeks. At the end of a session of Congress, the daily editions are compiled in bound volumes constituting the permanent edition. Chapter 9 of Title 44 of the United States Code authorizes publication of the Congressional Record.
|Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights||Mike Lee (R-UT)||Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)|
|The Constitution||Ted Cruz (R-TX)||Mazie Hirono (D-HI)|
|Crime and Terrorism||Josh Hawley (R-MO)||Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)|
|Border Security and Immigration||John Cornyn (R-TX)||Dick Durbin (D-IL)|
|Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts||Ben Sasse (R-NE)||Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)|
|Privacy, Technology, and the Law||Mike Lee (R-UT)||Chris Coons (D-DE)|
|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 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 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.
Mark Jeremy Bennett is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The nuclear option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a rule – specifically 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 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.
The United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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; specialized investigations by select committees; and reviews and studies by congressional support agencies and staff.
Terrence William Boyle is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He was Chief Judge of that court from 1997 to 2004. He began a second term as Chief Judge in 2018. From 1991 to 1993 and again from 2001 to 2007, he was a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. His federal appellate nomination from 2001 to 2007 is the longest in history not to be acted upon by the United States Senate.
A blue slip or blue-slipping is one of two different legislative procedures in the United States Congress.
Kurt Damian Engelhardt is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Previously, he was the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
U.S. President Barack Obama nominated over four hundred individuals for federal judgeships during his presidency. Of these nominations, Congress confirmed three hundred and twenty nine judgeships, 173 during the 111th & 112th Congresses and 156 during the 113th and 114th Congresses.
Todd Michael Hughes is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Theodore David Chuang is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and former Deputy General Counsel of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Thomas Alvin Farr is an American attorney. Farr was nominated by President Donald Trump for a judgeship on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in 2017, and again in 2018. Farr was considered a controversial nominee due to his alleged involvement in suppression of African-American voters. On November 29, 2018, Republican U.S. Senators Jeff Flake and Tim Scott announced their opposition to Farr's nomination, together with unanimous opposition of Senate Democrats, made it impossible for Farr's nomination to be confirmed.
Leonard Steven Grasz is an American lawyer and a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Holly Lou Teeter is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
Ryan Douglas Nelson is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was previously nominated to become Solicitor of the United States Department of the Interior, but was never confirmed.
Jeffrey Uhlman Beaverstock is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.
Howard Curtis Nielson Jr. is a Washington, D.C. lawyer. He is currently a partner at Cooper & Kirk and a nominee to be a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.
President Donald Trump entered office with a significant number of judicial vacancies, one of which included a Supreme Court vacancy due to the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016. President Trump had made approximately 50 judicial nominations by September 15, 2017, which was a significantly higher number of judicial nominations than any other recent president had made by that point in their presidency. As of December 13, 2018, eighteen of President Trump's judicial nominees have received a "Not Qualified" rating in some capacity by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, of whom four of whom have either withdrawn were not renominated, and three have been confirmed. President Trump's percentage of judicial nominees rated "Not Qualified" by a majority of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary is higher than in the previous four presidential administrations.
John Baylor Nalbandian is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was previously a partner in the Cincinnati office of Taft Stettinius & Hollister.