A congresswoman from Florida has been named to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee as Democrats shuffle the deck on their leadership on it. 

On Wednesday, House Democrats chose U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, over U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., to be the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, replacing former U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who resigned after being accused of sexual harassment. Nadler was nominated by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. 

“This is a critical time in our nation’s history, and the work of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee is more important than ever,” Nadler said after being chosen. “Our efforts—to hold the Administration and those wishing to turn back history’s long arc towards justice accountable—are central to the defense of progress and democracy.  We must fight to protect the rule of law, strengthen our safety and security from enemies foreign and domestic, shield Americans’ rights and liberties from encroachment, and guarantee that all people, no matter their age, race, gender, religion, ability, finances, nationality, or sexual orientation, are treated fairly and equally.

“As ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, I will do everything in my power to pursue these important goals, and look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee in continuing the march towards justice,” Nadler added. “Together, we will fiercely defend and support civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans.  It is our obligation to be steadfast in working for criminal justice reform, to be vigilant in protecting women’s rights, including the right to an abortion, promote greater equality for members of the LGBTQ community, to demand action on common sense gun laws, to support consumers and oversee antitrust concerns, and to hold the Trump administration accountable for its destructive policies and unprecedented misconduct.  This committee has a responsibility to uphold our laws and ensure justice.  My job moving forward—along with every other member of our committee—is to advance those principles, and I look forward to taking on those challenges together.”

With Conyers off the committee, Democrats selected U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., to serve on it. 

“After a troubling year it has become increasingly obvious that the most fundamental issues facing our country are matters of justice,” Demings said.

“The safety and security of our families and our communities depend on protecting the future of our democracy. The soul of our nation depends on our ability to expand equality and to balance respect for the rule of law with its proper application in all situations with all persons,” she added. “I am honored by the trust and support of my colleagues, and I look forward to applying my experience as a 27 year law enforcement officer to the important work ahead of us.”

As she noted, Demings did serve more than 25 years with the Orlando Police Department (OPD).  From 2007 through 2011, when she retired, Demings served as chief of the OPD.

Demings offered U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., a surprisingly close race in 2012. After the latest round of congressional redistricting, the district became far more palatable for Democrats. Webster packed his bags to run for an open seat up north while, despite some respectable opposition in the primary, last year Demings ran over her rivals to win his old seat.


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