May 26

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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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