United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The Judiciary Committee of the the United States Senate, commonly known as the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It considers matters related to the federal judiciary and the administration of justice in the United States. The committee has the responsibility to consider and confirm or deny presidential nominations to the federal justice system, including justices, judges, attorneys general and other top Justice Department officials.
The committee was created in 1816. 
Because Democrats control the Senate in the 112th Congress they are the current majority party on the committee, and Republicans are the minority. The Chairman of the committee is Patrick Leahy (VT), and the ranking Republican member is Chuck Grassley (IA).
Beginning of the committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee was created in the early 1800's in response to growing complexities in American government. The Senate established the body's original standing committees, including the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a resolution adopted on December 10, 1816. The United States House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary had been established three years prior. The first chairman of the Committee was Senator Dudley Chase of Vermont, who was appointed and served during the Second Session of the 14th Congress. 
2011-2012 (112th Congress)
|Committee on Judiciary Members, 2011-2012|
|Democratic members (10)||Republican members (8)|
|• Patrick Leahy (Vermont) Judiciary||• Chuck Grassley (Iowa) Ranking member|
|• Herb Kohl (Wisconsin)||• Orrin Hatch (Utah)|
|• Dianne Feinstein (California)||• Jon Kyl (Arizona)|
|• Chuck Schumer (New York)||• Jeff Sessions (Alabama)|
|• Dick Durbin (Illinois)||• Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)|
|• Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island)||• John Cornyn (Texas)|
|• Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota)||• Michael S. Lee (Utah)|
|• Al Franken (Minnesota)||• Tom Coburn (Oklahoma)|
|• Christopher Coons (Delaware)|
|• Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut)|
Administrative Oversight and the Courts
Jurisdiction: (1) Court administration and management; (2) Judicial rules and procedures; (3) Creation of new courts and judgeships; (4) Bankruptcy; (5) Administrative practices and procedures; (6) Legal reform and liability issues; (7) Oversight of the Department of Justice grant programs, as well as government waste and fraud; (8) Private relief bills other than immigration; (9) Oversight of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.
- 112th Congress Chair: Amy Klobuchar (MN)
Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
Jurisdiction: (1) Oversight of antitrust law and competition policy, including the Sherman, Clayton and Federal Trade Commission Acts; (2) Oversight of antitrust enforcement and competition policy at the Justice Department; (3) Oversight of antitrust enforcement and competition policy at the Federal Trade Commission; (4) Oversight of competition policy at other federal agencies.
- 112th Congress Chair: Herb Kohl (WI)
The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
Jurisdiction: (1) Constitutional amendments; (2) Enforcement and protection of constitutional rights; (3) Statutory guarantees of civil rights and civil liberties; (4) Separation of powers; (5) Federal-State relations; (6) Interstate compacts; (7) Human rights laws and practices; (8) Enforcement and implementation of human rights laws.
- 112th Congress Chair: Dick Durbin (IL)
Crime and Terrorism
Jurisdiction: (1) Oversight of the Department of Justice's (a) Criminal Division, (b) Drug Enforcement Administration, (c) Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, (d) Office on Violence Against Women, (e) U.S. Marshals Service, (f) Community Oriented Policing Services and related law enforcement grants, (g) Bureau of Prisons, (h) Office of the Pardon Attorney, (i) U.S. Parole Commission, (j) Federal Bureau of Investigation, and (k) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, as it relates to crime or drug policy; (2) Oversight of the U.S. Sentencing Commission; (3) Youth violence and directly related issues; (4) Federal programs under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (including the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act); (5) Criminal justice and victims' rights policy; (6) Oversight of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; (7) Oversight of the U.S. Secret Service; (8) Corrections, rehabilitation, reentry and other detention-related policy; and (9) Parole and probation policy; (10) Oversight of anti-terrorism enforcement and policy; (11) Oversight of Department of Homeland Security functions as they relate to anti-terrorism enforcement and policy; (12) Oversight of State Department consular operations as they relate to anti-terrorism enforcement and policy; (13) Oversight of encryption policies and export licensing; and (14) Oversight of espionage laws and their enforcement.
- 112th Congress Chair: Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
Jurisdiction: (1) Immigration, citizenship, and refugee laws; (2) Oversight of the immigration functions of the Department of Homeland Security, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Ombudsman Citizenship and Immigration Services; (3) Oversight of the immigration-related functions of the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the Department of Labor; (4) Oversight of international migration, internally displaced persons, and refugee laws and policy; and (5) Private immigration relief bills.
- 112th Congress Chair: Chuck Schumer (NY)
Privacy, Technology and the Law
Jurisdiction: (1) Oversight of laws and policies governing the collection, protection, use and dissemination of commercial information by the private sector, including online behavioral advertising, privacy within social networking websites and other online privacy issues; (2) Enforcement and implementation of commercial information privacy laws and policies; (3) Use of technology by the private sector to protect privacy, enhance transparency and encourage innovation; (4) Privacy standards for the collection, retention, use and dissemination of personally identifiable commercial information; and (5) Privacy implications of new or emerging technologies.
- 112th Congress Chair: Al Franken (MN)
According to the official Senate website, the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee includes its role in conducting oversight and consideration of nominations, the committee also considers legislation, resolutions, messages, petitions, memorials and other matters, as provided for in the Standing Rules of the Senate. These areas include all of the following:
- Apportionment of Representatives.
- Bankruptcy, mutiny, espionage, and counterfeiting.
- Civil liberties.
- Constitutional amendments.
- Federal courts and judges.
- Government information.
- Holidays and celebrations.
- Immigration and naturalization.
- Interstate compacts generally.
- Judicial proceedings, civil and criminal, generally.
- Local courts in territories and possessions.
- Measures relating to claims against the United States.
- National penitentiaries.
- Patent Office.
- Patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
- Protection of trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies.
- Revision and codification of the statutes of the United States.
- State and territorial boundary lines.
- Oversight of the Department of Justice and the agencies under the Department's jurisdiction, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security.
- Executive nominations for positions in the Department of Justice, Office of National Drug Control Policy, the United States Parole Commission, the United States Sentencing Commission, and the State Justice Institute, as well as select nominations for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Commerce are referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The consideration of all Article III judicial nominations. These include Supreme Court nominations, appellate court nominations, and district court nominations. The Committee also considers nominations to the Court of International Trade.
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Majority Phone: 202-224-7703