The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (informally Senate Judiciary Committee) is a standing committee of the United States Senate, of the United States Congress. The Judiciary Committee, with 18 members, is in charge of conducting hearings prior to the Senate votes on confirmation of federal judges (including Supreme Court justices) nominated by the president. In recent years, this role has made the committee increasingly a point of contention, with numerous party-line votes and standoffs over which judges should be approved. The committee also has a broad jurisdiction over matters relating to federal criminal law, as well as human rights, immigration law, intellectual property rights, antitrust law, and Internet privacy. It is also Senate procedure that all proposed Constitutional Amendments pass through the Judiciary Committee.
The committee is one of the oldest in the Senate. It was initially created in 1816.
^When the Senate convened in January 2001 17 days before President George W. Bush was inaugurated, there was a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans with Vice President Al Gore as a tiebreaking vote.
^In June 2001, Republican Jim Jeffords declared himself an Independent and caucused with the Democrats, giving the Democrats majority control.