Progressive champion Senator Dick Durbin has represented Illinois in the Senate since 1997. He has served as the Senate Democratic whip since 2005 (the second-highest position in the Democratic leadership in the Senate) and as the Senate majority whip since 2021.
Durbin earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969 and was admitted to the Illinois bar later that year. After graduating from law school, Durbin started a law practice in Springfield. He was legal counsel to Lieutenant Governor Paul Simon from 1969 to 1972, and then legal counsel to the Illinois State Senate Judiciary Committee from 1972 to 1982. He served in the US House from 1983 until 1997.
During his time in the Senate, he has pushed for criminal justice reform, human rights at home and abroad, and universal access to child care.
Durbin serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee as its chair. He also serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
Senator Durbin is a J Street champion. In May 2022, he signed the bicameral Merkley-Stansbury letter pushing back against proposed mass evictions and demolitions in the West Bank communities of Masafer Yatta. Durbin also signed a Chris Van Hollen-led letter which called for an independent investigation and report on the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.