|Senate Judiciary Committee
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Senator Dudley Chase of Vermont became the first Chairman of the Committee on December 13, 1816. Before legislative limits were established, Senator James O. Eastland of Mississippi was the Committee’s longest-standing chairman, serving 22 consecutive years from 1956 through 1978. There are currently 18 members serving on the Committee, 10 members of the majority party, and eight members of the minority party. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is the current Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is the Committee's Ranking Member. Throughout American history, the Committee has played a critical role in pivotal historical developments, including the passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the confirmation of the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, and the confirmation of the first female Supreme Court Justice. For more about the history of the Senate Judiciary Committee, click here.