|For Immediate Release
December 8, 2010
Contact: Kimberly Smith
Washington, D.C.— Congressman Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) today was appointed by congressional Republicans to Chair the House Judiciary Committee for the next Congress. The appointment makes Smith the first Republican Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee from Texas. Congressman Smith has served as the Committee’s lead Republican Member for the past four years.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman-Elect Smith issued a statement following the announcement:
Chairman-Elect Smith: “The House Judiciary Committee is often referred to as the guardian of the Constitution. We must protect the principles of liberty, equality and justice for all Americans.
“As Chairman of the Committee, I will focus on efforts to strengthen national security, protect intellectual property, prevent frivolous lawsuits and keep children safe from Internet sex predators. The Judiciary Committee will support industries that employ millions of Americans by protecting their patents and copyrights. And we will promote worksite enforcement efforts that make sure scarce jobs go to legal workers.
“The Judiciary Committee also oversees two federal agencies that help prevent terrorist attacks. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security should have the resources necessary to keep America safe. As Chairman, I am committed to strenuous oversight of the Obama Administration. We need to make sure that our laws are equally enforced, criminals are prosecuted and enemy combatants are kept off of American soil.”
House Speaker-Designate John Boehner supported Smith’s appointment.
Speaker-Elect Boehner: “Throughout his tenure on the House Judiciary Committee, Lamar has been a strong leader on important issues facing the American people. He is dedicated to promoting economic growth to help put Americans back to work, strengthening our national security and keeping America’s communities and neighborhoods safe from crime. I look forward to working with him in the 112th Congress.”
Established in 1813, the House Judiciary Committee is the second oldest standing committee in Congress. Its jurisdiction often places it at the center of American politics, such as when it approved the USA PATRIOT Act following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The Committee also has considered impeachment charges against presidents of the United States in both 1974 and 1998. Particularly important today is the Committee's oversight responsibility for the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.
In the last Congress over one thousand bills and resolutions were referred to the Committee on such subjects as terrorism, crime, immigration, bankruptcy, civil liberties, constitutional amendments, patents and copyrights.