The Blog of the Legal Times reports that the new members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will be Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
The Competitive Enterprise Institute last year identified Blumenthal as the second worst attorney general in the country. According to the report by CEI's Hans Bader, "The Nation's Worst State Attorneys General":
A left-wing ideologue who has used the power of his office to spread largesse to cronies, Blumenthal was rated the nation's worst attorney general in our
January 2007 ratings. Blumenthal has not gotten any better since then, but the competition for worst AG seems to have gotten fiercer.
Blumenthal helped mastermind the multistate tobacco agreement that turned attorneys general into national lawmakers, threws off hundreds of millions of dollars to the trial lawyers, and helped spread the abuses of state-hired contingency fee lawyers. As AG, Blumenthal also launched the Connecticut v. American Electric Power suit that seeks to create national climate change and emissions policy by distorting federal public nuisance law.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is already burdened by one activist, anti-business former AG from New England, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Now there's two. Well, as we always say, maybe they can do less harm in the Senate than as state attorneys general.
As for Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a Tea Party favorite, he's already coming under attack for his constitutional views. (See Think Progress, "GOP Puts Guy Who Thinks Federal Child Labor Laws Are Unconstitutional On Senate Judiciary Committee .") Daniel Foster at National Review Online comments: "This is going to be good. Lee's a J.D. from Brigham Young and twice clerked for Samuel Alito, once on the Third Circuit and again on the Supreme Court. He also killed at the Federalist Society last year."
The Salt Lake Tribune has more, "Lee to join Hatch on Judiciary Committee. " A waiver of Republican Conference rules was required to seat two Senators from the same state on the panel, Ed Whelan reports.