After the midterms concluded, one item of worry for Democrats with an eye toward 2020 was the fact that they were scheduled to lose a seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The junior Democrat on that panel is Kamala Harris, so under standing procedures, she’d probably be the one to get the boot. This was bad news for the aspiring candidate for the presidency because that position gives her a lot of visibility and plenty of opportunities to show how she’s part of the #RESIST movement by attacking any of Trump’s judicial nominees.
Well, worry no more, Senator Harris. Chuck Schumer has got your back. He’s cut a deal whereby Harris will be able to retain her seat on the committee. (Politico)
“Good news this morning: @SenKamalaHarris will get to keep her spot on the Judiciary Committee!” Schumer tweeted.
It had been unclear whether the California Democrat, who is weighing a 2020 run, would be able to keep her spot on the Committee since Republicans picked up several seats in the midterm elections.
According to a source familiar with the matter, no Democrats will lose a seat on the committee. Instead, Republicans will add a new seat.
“Schumer made keeping Harris on committee his top priority,” the source said.
So the GOP is going to allow the Democrats to keep all their current seats on the Judiciary Committee in exchange for expanding the panel and adding another Republican. Mitch McConnell must have signed off on this agreement, but why? It’s already a very sizable committee and the Republicans aren’t worried about elevating any possible POTUS contenders at this stage. Why would Cocaine Mitch be throwing a bone to the Democrats now?
Schumer’s motivation is obvious. He wants to help his party field the strongest possible slate of primary candidates and Harris is still frequently mentioned as a contender, despite her dismal showing thus far in every national poll of possible nominees. She’s never broken 5% except in the relatively fringe MoveOn straw poll, and even there she came in fourth with 10%. (Keep in mind that the winner of that poll was Beto O’Rourke. Yikes.)
What’s becoming obvious here is that the Democrats are prioritizing their presence on the Judiciary Committee as a platform for their presidential nominees. In addition to Harris, they also have Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, both of whom have been making noises about a POTUS bid also.
It appears that we can look forward to two more years of Judiciary hearings filled with showboating goodness as the Democrats attempt to outdo each other in showing how much they will fight President Trump. Who knows? They might even get some actual work done as well, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.