Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nomineeSenate rejects centrist immigration bill after Trump veto threatSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some DemocratsMORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCongress fails miserably: For Asian-Americans, immigration proposals are personal attacksAmerican women will decide who wins and loses in 2018 electionsDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nomineeMORE (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.
Thrilled to share that I've been appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee. You have my commitment that I will fight for justice on behalf of Californians and all Americans.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 9, 2018
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 TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truthWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by RussiansShulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VAMORE and Attorney General Sessions,” Booker said in a statement.
Excited to join the Judiciary Committee. It'll be my mission to check awful actions by Trump & Sessions; keep working to advance the cause of reforming our broken justice system; and to bend the arc of history closer toward equal justice for all. https://t.co/dvq4vdTkQa— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 9, 2018
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 SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embracedSchumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checksSchumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, RussiaMORE (D-N.Y.) announced new committee assignments for some party members after former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard?Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nomineesSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some DemocratsMORE (D-Minn) officially resigned last week, and new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) was sworn in.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondDemocrats propose .7 billion in grants for election securityHouse Dem opposition mounts to budget dealBlack Dems take lead in push to impeach TrumpMORE (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 SmithWith vote against Brownback, Democrats abandon religious freedomBachmann won't run for Franken's Senate seat because she did not hear a 'call from God'Senate confirms Trump nominee despite missing 'blue slip'MORE (D-Minn.), Franken’s replacement, shrinks the Republican advantage on the Juciicary Committee and Finance Committee to one seat each.
Minnesota DFL U.S. Sen. Tina Smith will serve on four Senate committees, her office said Tuesday.
They are Indian Affairs, Agriculture, Energy, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
The assignments will allow her to focus on problems important to Minnesotans, said Smith, who was sworn into office last Wednesday.
“I’m eager to fight for the nurse in greater Minnesota who’s worried about cuts to the rural health budget and the public school teacher who wants to give students a world-class education; for the retirees in Duluth who are concerned about their pensions getting cut, the farmer in Willmar concerned about slumping commodity prices, the tribal leader who demands a response to the opioid crisis in Indian Country, and the local business looking to cut its monthly energy bill,” she said.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Smith to take fellow Democrat Al Franken’s place in the Senate.until a special election in November determines who will serve the remainder of the term.
Franken served on the Judiciary Committee and not the Agriculture Committee. Otherwise Smith’s committee assignments are the same.
Smith says she will run in the special election to serve through 2020. Republican State Sen. Karin Housley has announced she’s running too.
Franken stepped down last week after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.
About the blogger
Mark Zdechlik covers health care and politics for MPR News. He began his MPR career in 1986 while attending St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota where he earned a degree in Business Administration. Over the past three decades, Zdechlik has been involved in covering virtually every major news story in the region.