Will Kamala Harris Keep Coveted Judiciary Post?
Unless Senate Democrats strike a deal, either with the Republican majority or with fellow Democrats on the Committee,Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) may lose her coveted post on the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s an issue of Committee size and rank -- Democrats will not control the Senate in the new Congress, and Harris is the Committee's most junior member. Discussion of the move to possibly remove the Committee’s only Black woman has already sparked a tense backlash. The only other African American on the Committee is Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and the Republican side of the dais is all white men and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Serious discussions about Committee size and composition will begin after the results of the Senate runoff election in Mississippi between Democrat Mike Espy and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith are known. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) could potentially agree to expand the number of Republicans on the panel so that no Dems are forced off. But why would McConnell accommodate such a deal? Many Senate Republicans believe the Committee is too large and some of its members have openly expressed hostility towards Harris, a former prosecutor, during hearings. Harris is all but confirmed to launch a White House bid next year, and her post on the Committee would give her welcome exposure. The Senate Judiciary Committee has a full 2019 agenda, including an Attorney General confirmation and oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Stay tuned. More here.