Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees Face Turnover

February 28, 2012. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) announced that she will not run for re-election in November. She is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee (SCC), which has jurisdiction over telecommunications and other technology related issues.

Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the SCC, announced a year ago that she will not run for re-election. Other SCC members face tough election contests. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) also has many members who are either retiring or facing difficult elections.

The members of the SCC who are running for re-election in November include Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) is among those seeking McCaskill's seat. Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) is among those seeking Sen. Nelson's seat.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is next in seniority among SCC Republicans, after Sen. Hutchison and Sen. Snowe. He therefore would likely become SCC Chairman if the Republicans were to win a majority in the Senate in this year's elections.

Sen. Jim DeMintIn telecommunications, Sen. DeMint (at right) is an advocate of preventing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from imposing network neutrality mandates on broadband internet access service providers.

See, S 3624 [LOC | WW], the "Freedom For Consumer Choice Act" or "FCC Act", in the 111th Congress, and story titled "Senate Republicans Introduce Bill to Constrain FCC by Antitrust Principles" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,111, July 26, 2010. See also, S 2113 (109th Congress), the "Digital Age Communications Act of 2005" or "DACA", also sponsored by Sen. DeMint.

There will also be turnover on the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), which has jurisdiction over patent, copyright, antitrust, cybercrime, electronic surveillance, and other technology related issues.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), both senior members SJC, have announced that they will not run for re-election. Sen. Klobuchar, who is a member of both the SCC and SJC, is up for re-election, as are Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).