The United States Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) is the group of Senators in charge ofconducting hearings prior to the Senate voting on whether or not to confirm a federal judge.
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In addition to considering the U.S. President's nominees for federal judgeships such as Supreme Court justices, the SJC also oversees the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Originally, the SJC focused on criminal justice legislation, the judicial system's expansion to new territories and states and judicial salaries. The scope of the SJC's authority has expanded, however, to address legislation related to terrorism, human rights, immigration, intellectual property rights, compliance, antitrust laws and Internet privacy. The Judiciary Committee holds hearings to conduct oversight, consider legislative proposals and to consider pending business on these issues. As of summer 2013, there are 18 members of the Judiciary Committee: 10 members of the Democratic majority party and eight members of the Republican minority party. The ratio of majority to minority members on the Committee is based on the ratio of majority to minority members of the Senate.