They have been elected on the identical day, and so they’ll be sworn in on the similar time – so do they decide who will get the ‘senior’ designation?
ATLANTA — Senators-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will be capable of drop the “elect” from their title right this moment and formally turn into U.S. senators once they’re sworn in late this afternoon following Joe Biden’s inauguration.
They have been elected on the identical day, and so they’ll be sworn in on the similar time – so which considered one of them will get to have the “senior” designation?
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It isn’t merely a ceremonial matter. In line with the U.S. Senate glossary, seniority “entitles a senator with larger seniority to preferential therapy in issues similar to committee assignments.”
Committee assignments are deeply vital – they’re the place payments are superior, they’re answerable for holding hearings and so they present a test on the assorted areas of the federal government they specialise in.
Senior senators are placed on extra influential committees, and in flip, wield way more affect over how legal guidelines get made and the way the federal government features.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, for instance, holds the hearings for Supreme Court docket nominees earlier than they’re voted on to turn into justices. It is a coveted committee task, and usually its members are among the highest-ranking of the Senate.
Which brings us again to Ossoff and Warnock – which one will get to be “senior” to the opposite? On this occasion, it is going to be Ossoff, as a result of he was elected to a longer-term.
The “How Our Legal guidelines Are Made” portion of Congress’ web site lays it out like this:
“Of the 2 Senators from a state serving on the similar time the one who was elected first – or if each have been elected on the similar time, the one elected for a full time period – is known as the ‘‘senior’’ Senator from that state.”
States normally would not have two Senate races in a single 12 months – the phrases expire throughout totally different election cycles.
However this 12 months, Georgia needed to maintain a particular election after former Sen. Johnny Isakson retired final December. When Warnock ran for Senate, he was operating for Isakson’s seat towards Kelly Loeffler, who’d been appointed to fill it by Gov. Brian Kemp till the particular election was held.
Isakson was re-elected in 2016, so he has two extra years on his time period. These are the 2 years Warnock will serve within the Senate.
Ossoff, in the meantime, was operating towards David Perdue, whose full time period was up. Along with his victory, Ossoff earned a full six-year time period.
And, by the principles of Congress, that can make him senior to Warnock.