GOP Staffs Up on Senate Judiciary Committee
By Carrie Johnson
Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who ascended to ranking member of the Judiciary Committee after the recent defection of Arlen Specter (Pa.) to the Democrats, this afternoon announced members of his senior staff.
Already the GOP is gearing up for a frenzy of activity on a committee that will contend this year with a Supreme Court nomination, the unwinding of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the renewal of several provisions of the USA Patriot Act.
Brian A. Benczkowski, chief of staff to former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, will serve as Republican staff director of the committee. Benczkowski is a veteran of Capitol Hill, having advised former House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and serving as a Justice Department congressional liaison during the Bush administration.
Matt Miner, a former federal prosecutor in Alabama who has worked for both Specter and Sessions, will serve as deputy staff director.
William Smith, an Alabama native with close ties to Sessions, will be staff counsel. He had worked as chief counsel for the subcommittee on administrative oversight and the courts before moving on to become an executive director at Americans for Limited Government.
And Joe Matal, who has advised Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) on terrorism issues, will be general counsel.
"I look forward to working with the team during this critical Supreme Court nomination process, as well as on the myriad of legal, law enforcement, and national security issues that come through the Judiciary Committee on a daily basis," Sessions said in a prepared statement.
May 13, 2009; 4:49 PM ET
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