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January 14, 2021

Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper: A Primer

The Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper (Sergeant at Arms)
is an elected officer of the Senate and is the chamber's
primary law enforcement and protocol official, responsible
for the protection, security, decorum, and other
administrative aspects ofthe Senatefloor, Senatewing of
the Capitol, Senate office buildings, and adjacent grounds.
The office was initially established during theFirst
Congress, whentheSenate electedJames Mathers as Senate
Doorkeeper. The Senate Sergeantat Arms performs duties
according to law, Senate rules, and custom.

  Resolved, That the Doorkeeper of the Senate be, and
  he is hereby, invested with the authority of Sergeant-
  at-Arms, to hold said office during the pleasure of the
  Senate, whose duty it shall be to execute the
  commands   of the senate, from time to time, and all
  such process as shall be directed to him by the
  President of the Senate.

      -Annals of Congress, February 5, 1798, pp. 497-498.

Selection Process
The Senate elects the Sergeant at Arms, who serves until
the Senate chooses a successor. The Senate typically
considers a Senate Resolution (S.Res.) to elect a Sergeant at
Arms. Typically, the Senate agrees to theresolutionby
unanimous consent(UC). For example, the Senate last
elected a Sergeant at Arms, Michael Stenger, in the 115th
Congress (S.Res. 465). He resigned on January 7, 2021.

Acting  Sergeant  at Arms Appointment
Should the Sergeant at Arms die, resign, orbecome
disabled, the Deputy Sergeant at Arms shallact as
Sergeant at Arms in carrying out the duties and
responsibilities ofthatofficein all matters untilsuchtime
as a new Sergeant at Arms ... shall have been elected and
qualified or such disability shallhave beenended(2
U.S.C. §6593).

I 17th Congress
On January 7, 2021, Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger
resigned following the events of January 6, 2021, at the
U.S. Capitolduring the joint session of Congress to certify
and count the2020 presidentialelection electoralvotes.
Pursuant to 2 U.S.C. §6593, Deputy Sergeant at Arms
Jennifer Hemingway began serving as acting Sergeant at

Immediate Past Sergeants at Arms
Table 1 lists the 11 individuals who haves erved as
Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper since 1991, and the date
they were first elected.

Table I. Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper,

   Congresses             Name             Elected

 102nd (1991 -92)to Martha Pope          1/3/1991
 103rd (1993-94)
 IO3rd(1993-94)   Robert Laurent Benoit  4/15/1994
 104th (1995-96)  Howard  Greene         1/4/1995
 104th (1995-96)to Gregory Casey         9/6/1996
 osth (1997-98)
 105th (1997-98) to James Ziglar         11/9/1998
 1071h (2001-02)
 107th (2001-02) to Alfonso Lenhardt     9/4/2001
 108th (2003-04)
 108th (2003-04) to William Pickle       3/17/2003
 109th (2005-06)
 I I0th (2007-08) to  Terrance Gainer    1/4/2007
 1 1 3th (2013-14)
 1 13th (2013-14) Andrew Willison        5/5/2014
 I I4th (2015-16) to Frank Larkin        1/6/2015
 1 15th (2017-18)
 1 15th (2017-18) to  Michael Stengera   4/16/2018
 I 17th (202I-22)
 Source: U.S. Congress, Senate Historical Office, at
a.  Michael Stengerresigned onJanuary7,2021.Jennifer
    Hemingway, Deputy Sergeantat Arms, began serving as acting
    SergeantofArms onJanuary7,2021.

Duties   and   Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Sergeant at Arms have
developed over time and can be located in law, rules,
custom, and precedent.

Additionally, the Senate Committee on Rules and
Adminis tration and the Senate Committee on
Appropriations define other duties of the Sergeant at Arms.
The Senate Rules and Administration Committee provides
oversight to the Sergeant at Arms.

Generally, the duties and responsibilities of Sergeant at
Arms and Doorkeeper can be divided into three broad
categories: law enforcement and s ecurity, protocol, and
administration. Each category reflects the basic


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