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.
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.
Members, 116th Congress
Members, 115th Congress
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
|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)|
|Intellectual Property||Thom Tillis (R-NC)||Chris Coons (D-DE)|
Chairs since 1816
- "Jurisdiction". United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- "Senate Committee on the Judiciary". GovTrack. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- "Guide to Senate Records: Chapter 13 Judiciary 1947-1968". National Archives. August 15, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "History | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "Members | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
- 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.
- In June 2001, Republican Jim Jeffords declared himself an Independent and caucused with the Democrats, giving the Democrats majority control.
- United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Official Website (Archive)
- Senate Judiciary Committee. Legislation activity and reports, Congress.gov.