Jon Kyl

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Jon Kyl is a Republican U.S. senator from Arizona, first elected in 1994 and having been reelected in 2000 and 2006. He is the Republican Whip, or second in the party leadership. Previously, he served four terms in the House of Representatives.

His committee assignments include:

  • Finance Committee, ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight
  • Judiciary Committee, ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security.


He argues for considering ideology in judicial appointments, and has threatened to filibuster against nominees who are insufficiently conservative. [1] In the confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor, he has been asking detailed legal questions about the circumstances under which she would recuse herself from hearing a case.[2]

Sen. Kyl is honorary co-chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger. He is a proponent of increased U.S. border security. In 2003, he spoke of a fundamental threat not from Islam, but from Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia. [3] He is a critic of U.S. policy about illegal immigration, but his measures have been attacked by then-Rep. Tom Tancredo for not going far enough.

He criticized Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to reopen criminal investigations into possible illegalities in interrogation of terrorist suspects as a partisan do-over for political reasons, since a 2004 CIA report on the matter had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove unlawful acts.[4] This action, however, seems to ignore that George W. Bush Administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey had reopened the 2004 declination in 2008, before the Obama Administration.[5]

Previous career

Before entering Congress, hepracticed law at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix. In 1985 he served as chairman of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.


Born in Oakland, Nebraska, Kyl received both his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Arizona. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was editor-in-chief of the Arizona Law Review.


  1. Sam Barr (3 March 2009), "Obama and the conservative legal movement", Harvard Political Review
  2. "Sen. Jon Kyl Questioning at Judge Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing", Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Transcriptions, July 14, 2009
  3. Jon Kyl (September 11, 2003), "Connecting the Dots: The support systems in focus.", National Review
  4. Greg Miller (20 August 2009), "GOP senators warn Holder against CIA abuse inquiry", Los Angeles Times
  5. Dan Eggen and Joby Warrick (January 3, 2008), "Criminal Probe on CIA Tapes Opened: Case Assigned to Career Prosecutor", Washington Post