WASHINGTON (CNN) – When the Senate reorganized after the last election, in which Democrats grew their majority to at least 59 seats, Republicans and Democrats agreed the Democrats would hold an 11 to 8 seat majority in the Judiciary Committee.
In the last Senate, Democrats held a 10-9 edge in that committee. But at the time, the Democrats held a narrower 55-45 seat advantage in the Senate.
After former GOP Sen. Arlen Specter flipped parties, it was decided to just add his Judiciary seat to the Democratic side of the aisle without replacing him on the Republican side.
That gave the Democrats the current 12-7 advantage on the committee.
One note: Sen. Al Franken joined the committee last week, but that didn't change the committee ratio because Sen. Ron Wyden - who at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's request was a place holder on the committee until the Minnesota Senate race was resolved - left the committee upon Franken's arrival.