With Republicans soon to take control of the U.S. House, chairman of the Judiciary Committee will be Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), a conservative who has served as ranking member. News coverage has played up his interest in enforcement of the immigration laws, but he is also a vocal supporter of medical liability reform. (See these November 2009 remarks from The Congressional Record.)
The trade publication/website Main Justice has more on Smith's agenda, "Texan, Likely Chairman of House Judiciary Panel, Outlines Agenda." The Journal of Accountancy describes Smith as "a champion for the [accounting] profession's positions on tax strategy patents and liability."
In the Senate Judiciary, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) will likely continue as chairman in the 112th Congress, but Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) will bid adieu. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is likely to rise to ranking member, replacing Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
- Blog of the Legal Times, "Election Shakes Up Senate Judiciary Committee"
- New York Times, "Election Likely to Affect EPA Litigation, Judicial Nominations"
- Main Justice, "Republican Gains in Senate Mean New Faces on Judiciary"