Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyGrassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Popular bill to fight drug prices left out of budget deal Judiciary Dems want public hearings with Kushner, Trump Jr. MORE (D-Vt.) congratulated Sen. Jeff Sessions's (R-Ala.) having become ranking member of the committee, despite having voted against Sessions's own judicial nomination in 1986.

"As I told Senator Sessions when I congratulated him on his new role as the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with him," Leahy said in a statement Tuesday.

Some news has been made of Session's ascension to the top GOP spot on the committee that opposed his own nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986. Leahy, a member of that committee in 1986, was amongst the eight Democrats and two Republicans -- one of which was Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Sessions's predecessor as ranking member of the committee -- to vote against the nomination.

"The Committee has a full legislative agenda, critical oversight responsibilities and a number of key nominations, and we will be considering an important nomination to the United States Supreme Court," Leahy said. "Senator Sessions and I have worked together in the past on a number of matters and I look forward to working with him in his new leadership role."

Other contemporary political figures who sat on the committee to vote on Sessions included Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) -- all of whom voted to recommend their future colleague -- as well as Vice President Biden, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), each of whom voted against Sessions.