Booker, Harris appointed to Senate Judiciary Committee

Booker, Harris appointed to Senate Judiciary Committee
© Getty

Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDem lawmaker spars with own party over prison reform A country as wealthy as the United States should make affordable housing a right Democrats urge colleagues to oppose prison reform bill MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarvard law professor: Impeachment could worsen political dysfunction, polarization Dem lawmaker spars with own party over prison reform Democrats urge colleagues to oppose prison reform bill MORE (D-Calif.) were appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, making them the first African-American members of the panel since the 1990s.

Harris, the second African-American woman elected to the Senate, also becomes the second black woman to serve on the powerful Judiciary panel.

Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) sat on the Judiciary Committee in the 1990s. Booker will be the first black man to serve on the committee. 

“The Trump administration has repeatedly demonstrated its hostility to the ideals of civil rights and equal justice for all. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will make it my mission to check and balance President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo to outline post-deal strategy on Iran Trump asking aides whether he should proceed with North Korea summit: report Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all MORE and Attorney General Sessions,” Booker said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Booker testified against Sessions's nomination last year, the first time a sitting senator has testified against another sitting senator chosen for a Cabinet post.

Booker previously worked as a tenant lawyer, and served as a city council member and Newark mayor before his election to the Senate in 2013. Harris previously served as California's attorney general before joining the Senate. Both Democrats are viewed as potential 2020 presidential contenders.

The Judiciary Committee, which deals with nominations to the judiciary and Justice Department, is one of multiple congressional committees conducting separate investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line' Patients deserve the 'right to try' How the embassy move widens the partisan divide over Israel MORE (D-N.Y.) announced new committee assignments for some party members after former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart Franken100 days after House passage, Gillibrand calls on Senate to act on sexual harassment reform Eric Schneiderman and #MeToo pose challenges for both parties Senate confirms Trump judicial pick over objections of home-state senator MORE (D-Minn) officially resigned last week, and new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) was sworn in.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondTwitter CEO meets with lawmakers to talk net neutrality, privacy White House-backed prison reform bill advances in House Ben Carson defends housing assistance proposal: Gives the poor 'a way out of poverty' MORE (D-La.) praised the new appointments, saying he urged Schumer to appoint a member of the caucus to replace Franken on the Judiciary Committee.

“The Congressional Black Caucus could not be more proud of both of our Senate members and know the experience and expertise they bring to the Committee will be beneficial for all Americans, especially those disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system,” Richmond said in a statement.

The addition of Jones and Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithSenate confirms Trump judicial pick over objections of home-state senator Richard Painter to run as Democrat for Minnesota Senate seat vacated by Franken Senators warn against placing Medicaid work requirements on tribes MORE (D-Minn.), Franken’s replacement, shrinks the Republican advantage on the Juciicary Committee and Finance Committee to one seat each.