On Wednesday, Democrats Doug Jones of Alabama and Tina Smith of Minnesota will be seated in the U.S. Senate. This marks the first time in U.S. history that two members of the chamber will be seated at the exact midway point of a particular Congress (March 4th of an even-numbered year through the 72nd Congress and January 3rd of an even-numbered year ever since).  In fact, only one other senator in U.S. history was seated at this point: Jacksonian William Rives of Virginia (on March 4, 1836). [Note: This was Rives’ second of four stints in U.S. Senate, also serving from 1832-1834, 1837-1839, and 1841-1845].


  1. Nikoli Orr on January 3, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Unlike their elected predecessors – who were political polar opposites, and more recently clashed publicly and virulently regarding the alleged Trump-Russia collusion over the 2016 US presidential campaign – the incoming newest senators are expected to be philosophically congenial, as well as personally cordial. Also, whether due to the current or prior record of holding elective office, or the demographic size of each state, Tina Smith is slated to be 99th in seniority, followed by G Douglas Jones as THE junior senator (well, at least until yet another vacancy is filled via appontment, for class 2 of the Magnolia State, as noted in “And then there were Two”).

  2. Daniel Etkin on January 4, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Does Doug Jones’s seniority start from the day he takes the oath, or the day he was elected?

  3. Nikoli Orr on January 5, 2018 at 3:10 am

    Jones’ seniority starts from formal oath-taking (rather than date of election/appointment).

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