With Leon Panetta facing confirmation hearings over his secretary of defense nomination, Jeffrey Brown discusses how Panetta could handle major challenges within the massive defense budget with Gordon Adams, who supervised nation security budgets under President Clinton, and Heritage Foundation…

May 26

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Key Player: Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

When Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties in April 2008, Sen. Jeff Sessions became the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, bringing a more conservative voice to the hearings vetting President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominees.

May 26

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Key Player: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, 69, is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy and the now-ranking GOP member of the committee, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, will be responsible for overseeing the upcoming Supreme Court nomination hearings.

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