Senator Specter to Chair Crime and Drugs Subcommittee on Judiciary
Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee since he was elected in 1980, will receive the gavel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs from Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
"I am pleased to serve as Chairman of the Crime and Drugs Subcommittee and I thank my colleagues, Assistant Majority Leader Durbin and Judiciary Chairman Leahy and Majority Leader Reid in particular, for the opportunity," Senator Specter said. "My commitment to the issues of criminal justice, my lengthy experience on the Judiciary Committee, and my background as District Attorney of Philadelphia make me prepared for the hard work ahead on this active subcommittee. Among other things, I look forward to tackling issues of jail sentences for white collar crime like Medicare and Medicaid fraud, the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparities, tough sentencing for career criminals and realistic rehabilitation for inmates who will be returning to society."
"Senator Reid, Senator Leahy, Senator Specter and I have had a number of conversations about ways to best utilize Senator Specter's talents and experience in our Caucus," said Senator Durbin. "Senator Specter has been a leader on criminal justice issues for decades, and I am pleased to pass the gavel to him."
Senator Specter has a long record on the issues of criminal justice, dating back to his service as District Attorney of Philadelphia in 1965. Senator Specter authored the Armed Career Criminal Act and co-authored the Second Chance Act. More recently, Senator Specter cosponsored legislation with Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) to create a blue-ribbon commission charged with conducting an 18-month, top-to-bottom review of the nation's entire criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform.
The Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs has jurisdiction over many areas, including the Department of Justice, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, federal programs under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, criminal justice and victim's rights legislation, and oversight of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Secret Service.