Press Release

February 12, 2009
Our greatest priority is to keep America safe while abiding by the rule of law

Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) was named Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee today, following an organizational meeting of the full Judiciary Committee.  Chairman Cardin’s subcommittee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Government’s anti-terrorism enforcement and policy, including the anti-terrorism enforcement and policy of the Departments of Homeland Security and State.  The subcommittee also has oversight of the espionage laws, as well as encryption policies and export licensing.


“Our top priority in Congress is to protect the American people.  We must make sure that our law enforcement and intelligence professionals have the tools they need at their disposal to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks,”
said Chairman Cardin.  “At the same time, we must insure that our government uses its scarce resources wisely, and that it strikes an appropriate balance between national security and protecting civil liberties.” 


Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee said of the announcement, “Since joining the Judiciary Committee two years ago, Senator Cardin has been one of our most active members.  As we continue to address the most pressing national security issues of our time, I look forward to the oversight and leadership he will bring to this important subcommittee.”


“The Judiciary Committee will have a full agenda on terrorism issues, under the able leadership of Chairman Leahy,”
Chairman Cardin said.  “I expect the Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee to move us forward on renewing parts of the PATRIOT Act that are due to expire, reviewing the Administration’s developing policy toward detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and working to restore the credibility of the Office of Legal Counsel’s through a review of its opinions on government policies and practices relating to terrorism.”


Senator Cardin has been a member of the Judiciary Committee since he joined the Senate in January 2007.
  For 20 years prior, he represented Maryland’s 3
rd Congressional District in the House of Representatives. In 2003, he was appointed to the first-ever House Select Committee on Homeland Security to oversee the new Department of Homeland Security.  Cardin fought to provide additional resources to those jurisdictions with the greatest risk and vulnerability, including additional resources for the Port of Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and transportation infrastructure in Maryland.