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 BlackburnTaylor Swift defends staying out of the 2016 election: 'I just knew I wasn't going to help' The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal Senate passes sweeping budget deal, sending it to Trump MORE (R-Tenn.) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstAir Force probe finds no corroboration of sexual assault allegations against Trump pick Gun control activists set to flex muscle in battle for Senate Businesses, farmers brace for new phase in Trump trade war MORE (R-Iowa) kicked off their first hearing on the panel on Tuesday, attending the high-profile hearing on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE’s nomination of William Barr to serve as his next attorney general.

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Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham warns Trump on Taliban deal in Afghanistan: Learn from 'Obama's mistakes' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan MORE (R-S.C.) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program The Hill's Morning Report - More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein's death Juan Williams: We need a backlash against Big Tech 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.