Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyPassing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy GOP wants to move fast on Sessions Senate Dems pan talk of short-term spending bill 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.