Membership on the Senate Judiciary Committee
|Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1937.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Since the formal creation of the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 10, 1816, only a few hundred U.S. Senators have had the opportunity to serve as members of the Committee. A total of 319 Senators have served on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee from 49 of the 50 states. Alaska, which achieved statehood in 1959, is the only state that has not been represented on the Committee. More than 25 percent of the 319 Senators to have served on the Committee hail from seven states: Kentucky (17 members); North Carolina (12 members); New York (11 members); and Illinois, Maryland, Missouri and Ohio (each with 10 members). Excluding Alaska, Hawaii has had the fewest number of Senators serve on the Judiciary Committee. Only one Senator from Hawaii, Hiram L. Fong, has served on the Committee.
Only three Judiciary Committee members have also served as President of the United States. Martin Van Buren, Chairman of the Committee during from the 18th Congress through the first session of the 20th Congress, later served as the eighth President of the United States. Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire served on the Committee during the 25th Congress, from 1837 to 1839, and became the 14th President of the United States in 1853. James Buchanan briefly served on the Judiciary Committee during the 24th Congress, and became the 15th President of the United States in 1857.
The number of members serving on the Committee from Congress to Congress varies, and the Committee's membership is adopted by the full Senate at the start of each new Congress. The 14th Congress, the first in which the Senate Judiciary Committee was a standing Senate Committee, included just five members: Republican Party members Chairman Dudley Chase of Vermont, Isham Talbot of Kentucky, and Charles Tait of Georgia; and Federalist Party members David Daggett of Connecticut and William Hunter of Rhode Island. Today, 19 members from 17 states serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee.