Senate Democrats’ midterm losses have created a dilemma for the party’s leadership over a key committee seat held by Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a prospective 2020 presidential contender who is at risk of having to forfeit the high-profile assignment and the national spotlight that comes with it.
Harris, a former prosecutor and state attorney general, is the Senate Judiciary Committee’s most junior member. The panel’s investigations and Supreme Court confirmation battles have commanded regular media coverage since President Trump entered the Oval Office. It’s the kind of exposure a new senator usually could only dream of, and with everything from an attorney general confirmation to oversight of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe on next year’s agenda, its limelight won’t soon fade.
Yet unless Democrats strike a deal, either with the Senate’s Republican majority or with fellow Democrats on the committee, numbers and seniority dictate that Harris will be out — and that has liberal groups scrambling to save her position.