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Kamala Harris (Facebook)

Kamala Harris to Keep Seat on Judiciary

Only Black Female on Key Senate Committee Faced Elimination

By Evan Gahr, December 17, 2018 7:00 am

Kamala Harris in the Green Room of the ‘Ellen’ talk show. (Facebook)

California Senator Kamala Harris, the much-ballyhooed prospective Democratic presidential candidate, will get to keep her seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee after all.

After the mid-term elections when Republican gained two seats in the Senate there was speculation that Harris, the most junior Democratic member of the Committee, would need to give up her seat to make way for a Republican.

But this week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that Harris could stay on the Committee. “Good news this morning: @SenKamalaHarris will get to keep her spot on the Judiciary Committee!” he chirpily tweeted. “I’m proud that we successfully fought to keep her seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Rather than forcing any Democrats off, the committee will simply create an additional seat for a Republican, POLITICO reported.

The Committee currently has 21 members. 11 are Republicans; 10 Democrats.

In perhaps a sign of Harris’s luster among Democrats Schumer “made keeping Harris on committee his top priority,” a source told POLITICO. Harris had reportedly made clear to Schumer that she wants to remain on the Committee.

It was a priority for lots of people.

Last month, following the mid-terms, a minor stir ensued when the Washington Post reported that Harris could lose her seat. This was eyebrow-raising to a party engulfed in identity politics because Harris is black and female. In another sign of the times, Harris gained her place when Al Franken resigned from the Senate under pressure following the emergence of claims of sexual misconduct.

Brian Fallon, executive director of the liberal group Demand Justice, said, “Not only would it be unconscionable to remove the only African American woman from the committee, but Sen. Harris also is the most skilled questioner on the entire panel.”

And Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), also on Judiciary, said of his fellow former prosecutor, “She’s a real lawyer, she is the real deal, she’s a pro, and she also happens to be an African American woman. She belongs on [the] committee.”

On the Committee, Harris gained considerable attention for her pointed questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Harris has said that in consultation with her family she will decide during the holiday season whether or not to run for president.

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