United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Senate Judiciary Committee
Standing committee
Active
Seal of the United States Senate.svg
United States Senate
116th Congress
History
FormedDecember 10, 1816
Leadership
ChairLindsey Graham (R)
Since January 3, 2019
Ranking memberDianne Feinstein (D)
Since January 3, 2017
Structure
Seats22 members
Political partiesMajority (12)
Minority (10)
Jurisdiction
Policy areasFederal judiciary, civil procedure, criminal procedure, civil liberties, copyrights, patents, trademarks, naturalization, constitutional amendments, congressional apportionment, state and territorial boundary lines
Oversight authorityDepartment of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, federal judicial nominations
House counterpartHouse 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

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.[1][2]

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]