News Column

Sen. Feinstein to Take Over As Judiciary Committee Chairwoman

Dec. 19, 2012

Sen. Dianne Feinstein reportedly is set assume the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee's chairman, shifting the leadership position from left to the center.

Immigration reform and gun control likely will be the two top issues before the panel next year, The Hill reported.

The Hill said the current chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.,will likely lead the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Leahy told reporters he hasn't yet made up his mind, but will announce the decision within 24 hours.

The National Journal ranked Feinstein, D-Calif., as more conservative than Leahy. She has sided with Republicans on big issues, including the Iraq war in 2002. However, Feinstein has sided with liberals on U.S. Supreme Court appointments.

But Senate Democratic aides say the biggest difference between Leahy and Feinstein is their opinions on gun control, a big-ticket item on the administration agenda in the wake of Friday's massacre in Newtown, Conn., and earlier assaults this year, including the Aurora, Colo, theater shooting.

Feinstein recently said she would introduce legislation to reinstate the federal assault-weapons ban. Leahy has a mixed record on gun control.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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