John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Ten random things: October 27

Ten United States Senators and where they rank in seniority:

  1. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), 97th in seniority
  2. Pat Roberts (R-KS), 45th
  3. Mike Enzi (R-WY), 55th
  4. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), 95th
  5. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), 66th
  6. Pete Domenici (R-NM), 5th
  7. George Voinovich (R-OH), 60th
  8. Ken Salazar (D-CO), 87th
  9. Chris Dodd (D-CT), 14th
  10. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), 15th

Seniority in the United States Senate is very important, so it's necessary to keep track of exactly where every Senator ranks in seniority. The rules for determining seniority are delightfully convoluted. The length of service as a Senator is of course most important, but for Senators who took the oath of office on the same day, the following additional factors are considered:

  1. Previous U.S. senator (non-consecutive)
  2. Length of time serving as a senator in previous non-consecutive terms
  3. Previous U.S. representative
  4. Length of time serving as a U.S. representative
  5. Previous president
  6. Previous vice president
  7. Previous cabinet member
  8. Previous state governor
  9. Population of state based on the most recent census when the senator took office
  10. Alphabetical by last name

Hey, it's another list of ten things! Ginchy. Anyway, taking an example from the first list, Dodd and Grassley became Senators on the same day, and they both had six years experience as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. But Connecticut ranked ahead of Iowa in population -- at the time, they ranked 24th and 25th respectively -- so Dodd was placed ahead of Grassley on the list. Likewise, McCaskill is more senior than Whitehouse because Missouri is larger than Rhode Island.

And while we're on the subject, Senators Biden, McCain, and Obama rank 6th, 24th, and 86th respectively.


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