Cornyn To Chair Key Senate Panel

In: All News   Posted 01/27/2003

WASHINGTON -- The Judiciary Committee awarded U.S. Sen. John Cornyn a coveted subcommittee chairmanship on Monday. The committee’s chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), announced Cornyn would lead the panel’s Subcommittee on the Constitution."Leading this subcommittee will allow me to have an even greater voice on the important balance between homeland security and individual freedoms in the fight against terror,” Sen. Cornyn said. “The Judiciary Committee can, and will be, a powerful voice in protecting our freedoms and the most vulnerable among us.” the subcommittee has jurisdiction over proposed amendments to the Constitution, enforcement of civil rights, property rights issues, federalism and interstate compacts. Subcommittee chairmen have the authority to convene hearings. Sen. Cornyn recently co-sponsored a Constitutional amendment banning desecration of the American flag, an issue that will originate in the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Hearings will likely be held early in the 108th Congress. Also likely to come before the panel is the issue of church and state separations, including voluntary moments of silence in school. Cornyn will also serve on two additional subcommittees. Final subcommittee selections will be made at a hearing on Thursday. Cornyn served as a District Court judge from 1984 to 1990, a Texas Supreme Court justice from 1990 to 1999 and as Texas Attorney General from 1999 to 2002. In 2001, the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas presented him with the James Madison Award for his efforts to promote open government. He also serves on the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, and Budget committees. the JUDICIARY COMMITTEE Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. First authorized in 1816, Judiciary is one of the Senate’s original standing committees and is responsible for overseeing the nomination process of all federal judges as well as justices nominated to the Supreme Court. Other key areas of responsibility are immigration and naturalization, state and territorial boundary lines and civil liberties. The Committee also oversees all federal courts, including civil and criminal courts. The Judiciary Committee has one of the broadest jurisdictions in the Senate, ranging from criminal justice to antitrust and intellectual property law.