Barr hearing marks first time Senate Judiciary has GOP women serving on panel

Barr hearing marks first time Senate Judiciary has GOP women serving on panel
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Two female Republican senators are serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time in the history of the panel.

Sens. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnDemocrats smell blood with new DHS whistleblower complaint Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections GOP senators unveil new bill to update tech liability protections MORE (R-Tenn.) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day To honor Justice Ginsburg's legacy, Biden should consider Michelle Obama The Memo: Court battle explodes across tense election landscape MORE (R-Iowa) kicked off their first hearing on the panel on Tuesday, attending the high-profile hearing on President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE’s nomination of William Barr to serve as his next attorney general.

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Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina MORE (R-S.C.) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinMcConnell says Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence Intensifying natural disasters do little to move needle on climate efforts MORE (D-Calif.) welcomed Blackburn and Ernst to the committee in their opening remarks.

“To Sen. Blackburn and Ernst, thank you for making history, at least on our side,” Graham said.

While Democrats already have four female senators on the committee including Feinstein, the California senator praised the committee for continuing to diversify.

“I think it is extraordinarily important that this committee be representative of our society at large — and we are growing that way so thank you very much for being here,” Feinstein said during her opening remarks.

Feinstein, in particular, pointed to the 1991 Anita Hill hearing in which she testified that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had made unwanted sexual advances and inappropriately discussed sex and pornography with her.

Thomas denied the accusations and was voted by the Senate into the Supreme Court.

“Twenty-five years ago, there were no women on this committee. I’ll never forget watching the Anita Hill hearing on a television in a London airport where a lot of people had gathered,” she recalled.

“I saw this all male Judiciary Committee. And it took all these years, but here we are. And I want to particularly welcome Sen. Ernst and Sen. Blackburn,” Feinstein continued.