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 BlackburnGOP senator: 2020 candidates must recuse themselves from impeachment trial Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones GOP senators introduce resolution to change rules, dismiss impeachment without articles MORE (R-Tenn.) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstMitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate Drug price outrage threatens to be liability for GOP Progressive groups target eight GOP senators in ad campaign ahead of impeachment trial MORE (R-Iowa) kicked off their first hearing on the panel on Tuesday, attending the high-profile hearing on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE’s nomination of William Barr to serve as his next attorney general.

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Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown George Conway group drops ad seeking to remind GOP senators of their 'sworn oaths' ahead of impeachment trial House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't MORE (R-S.C.) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate opens Trump impeachment trial Democrats ask if US citizens were detained at border checkpoints due to Iranian national origin Pelosi set to send impeachment articles to the Senate next week 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.