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 BlackburnTrump’s new Syria timetable raises concern among key anti-ISIS allies Dem lawmaker invites Parkland survivor to attend State of the Union Bipartisan senators press Trump for strategy to protect Syrian Kurds MORE (R-Tenn.) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstPush for paid family leave heats up ahead of 2020 Ivanka Trump to meet with GOP senators to discuss paid family leave legislation On The Money: Negotiators aiming to reach deal Monday night | Why border talks stalled | Treasury calls reports on dip in tax refunds 'misleading' | Cuomo, Trump to discuss SALT deduction cap MORE (R-Iowa) kicked off their first hearing on the panel on Tuesday, attending the high-profile hearing on President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE’s nomination of William Barr to serve as his next attorney general.

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Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Overnight Defense: Graham clashed with Pentagon chief over Syria | Talk grows that Trump will fire Coats | Coast Guard officer accused of domestic terrorism plot Graham cursed at acting DOD chief, declaring himself his 'adversary' MORE (R-S.C.) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line 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.