Apelbaum, 55, says the Judiciary Committee deals with issues that "really are at the epicenter of what's going on, socially and economically." An Akron, Ohio, native, Apelbaum has been with the panel since 1991, when then-Rep. Jack Brooks, D-Texas, was chairman, and has seen two changes in majority control. But a consistent benefit of his job, he says, is that he gets to come to work each day to be involved with many of the same topics that grabbed his interest in law school. Of course, those issues often involve friction with the other side of the aisle, but Apelbaum does not take potshots at Republicans. "Everybody kind of thinks that Judiciary's fighting over everything," he says. "But we're one of the most — if not the most — productive committees on the Hill in terms of public laws. So, there's a lot of cooperation across the aisle, more than people realize."