(CNN) – Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the new ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Wednesday the committee's senior leadership team.
Full statement after the jump
WASHINGTON—Just days after being named Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) today announced the committee’s senior leadership team, a group of skilled, well-qualified lawyers with nearly four decades of Washington experience among them.
The top echelon of Sessions’ judiciary staff will consist of Brian Benczkowski, William Smith, Joe Matal, and Matt Miner. The group plans to begin work immediately on the upcoming Supreme Court nomination, as well as a host of other issues pending before the committee.
“This is a fantastic team of lawyers that is coming onboard at an exciting and critical time,” Sessions said. “They are each highly qualified, knowledgeable of the legislative process, and skilled at getting things done in Washington,” Sessions said. “I look forward to working with the team during this critical Supreme Court nomination process, as well as on the myriad of legal, law enforcement, and national security issues that come through the Judiciary Committee on a daily basis.”
Brian Benczkowski will serve as Staff Director. Before joining Sessions’ staff, Benczkowski served as Chief of Staff to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Justice, and Chief of Staff at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Benczkowski also served as Majority Counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, advising Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor from the Washington University School of Law.
William Smith will serve as Chief Counsel. Previously, Smith held the title of Executive Director of Congressional Relations for Americans for Limited Government. He practiced law at the Birmingham firm of Starnes and Atchison. From 2001 to 2006, Smith served as Sessions’ Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. Smith earned a B.A. from the University of Alabama, a Master of Library Science from the University of North Carolina, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law.
Joe Matal will serve as General Counsel. Prior to joining the Sessions’ staff, Matal worked as Counsel for U.S. Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security. Previously, he served as Policy Director to Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL). Matal earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and English from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor from the Boalt Hall School of Law.
Matt Miner will serve as the Deputy Staff Director. Miner is being promoted from his current post of Chief Counsel on the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, where Sessions was Ranking Member. Prior to joining Sessions’ staff in December 2008, Miner served on the Judiciary Committee staff for Sen. Arlen Specter. Before coming to Washington, Miner was an Assistant United States Attorney in Montgomery. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Cincinnati, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan School of Law.
Sessions, named Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee earlier this month, is a third-term senator from Alabama. Before joining the Senate in 1997, he served as Attorney General for the State of Alabama. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Sessions to serve as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, a post he held for 12 years.