United States House Committee on the Judiciary

Last updated

House Judiciary Committee
Standing committee
Active
Seal of the United States House of Representatives.svg
United States House of Representatives
116th Congress
History
FormedJune 6, 1813
Leadership
Chair Jerrold Nadler (D)
Since January 3, 2019
Ranking member Doug Collins (R)
Since January 3, 2019
Vice chair Mary Gay Scanlon (D)
Since January 3, 2019
Structure
Seats41
Political partiesMajority (24)
Minority (17)
Jurisdiction
Senate counterpart Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    President Gerald Ford appearing at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing regarding his pardon of Richard Nixon (October 17, 1974). Gerald Ford hearing2.jpg
    President Gerald Ford appearing at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing regarding his pardon of Richard Nixon (October 17, 1974).

    The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, also called the House Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is charged with overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts, administrative agencies and Federal law enforcement entities. The Judiciary Committee is also the committee responsible for impeachments of federal officials. Because of the legal nature of its oversight, committee members usually have a legal background, but this is not required.

    In the United States Congress, standing committees are permanent legislative panels established by the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate rules. Because they have legislative jurisdiction, standing committees consider bills and issues and recommend measures for consideration by their respective chambers. They also have oversight responsibility to monitor agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions, and in some cases in areas that cut across committee jurisdictions. Due to their permanent nature, these committees exist beyond the adjournment of each two-year meeting of Congress.

    United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

    The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

    The administration of justice is the process by which the legal system of a government is executed. The presumed goal of such administration is to provide justice for all those accessing the legal system. The phrase is also used commonly to describe a University degree, which can be a prerequisite for a job in law enforcement or government.

    Contents

    In the 116th Congress, the chairman of the committee is Democrat Jerry Nadler of New York, [1] and the ranking minority member is Republican Doug Collins of Georgia.

    Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

    The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

    New York (state) State of the United States of America

    New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.

    Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

    The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

    History

    The committee was created on June 3, 1813 [2] for the purpose of considering legislation related to the judicial system. This committee approved articles of impeachment against Presidents in three instances: the impeachment of Andrew Johnson (1868), the impeachment process against Richard Nixon (1974), and the impeachment of Bill Clinton (1998).

    Impeachment of Andrew Johnson 1868 impeachment of the 17th US president

    The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was initiated on February 24, 1868, when the United States House of Representatives resolved to impeach Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States, for "high crimes and misdemeanors", which were detailed in 11 articles of impeachment. The primary charge against Johnson was violation of the Tenure of Office Act, passed by Congress in March 1867, over his veto. Specifically, he had removed from office Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War—whom the Act was largely designed to protect—and attempted to replace him with Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas.

    Impeachment process against Richard Nixon 1970s preliminary process to remove the President of the United States

    An impeachment process against Richard Nixon was formally initiated on February 6, 1974, when the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution, H.Res. 803, giving its Judiciary Committee authority to investigate whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States of high crimes and misdemeanors, primarily related to the Watergate scandal. This investigation was undertaken one year after the United States Senate established a select committee to investigate the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. and the Nixon Administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement.

    Impeachment of Bill Clinton Presidential impeachment proceedings

    The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated on October 8, 1998, when the United States House of Representatives voted to commence impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States, for "high crimes and misdemeanors", which were subsequently detailed in 2 articles of impeachment. The specific charges against the president were lying under oath and obstruction of justice, charges that stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones. The catalyst for the president's impeachment was the Starr Report, a September 1998 report prepared by Independent Counsel Ken Starr for the House Judiciary Committee.

    In the 115th Congress, the chairman of the committee was Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, and the ranking minority member was initially Democrat John Conyers of Michigan. On November 26, 2017, Conyers stepped down from his position as ranking member, while he faced an ethics investigation. [3] On November 28, 2017, Jerrold Nadler of New York was named as acting ranking member.

    Bob Goodlatte American politician

    Robert William Goodlatte is an American politician and attorney. He served in the United States House of Representatives representing Virginia's 6th congressional district for 13 terms. He was also the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over legislation affecting the federal courts, administrative agencies, and federal law enforcement entities. A Republican, Goodlatte's district covered Roanoke and also included Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, and Staunton.

    Virginia State of the United States of America

    Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.

    John Conyers American politician

    John James Conyers Jr. is an American politician of the Democratic Party who served as a U.S. Representative for Michigan from 1965 to 2017. He is now retired. The districts he represented always included part of western Detroit. During his final three terms, his district included many of Detroit's western suburbs, as well as a large portion of the Downriver area.

    Predecessor committees

    House Un-American Activities Committee Investigative committee of the US House of Representatives during the Red Scare

    The House Un-American Activities Committee was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. The HUAC was created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having Communist ties. When the House abolished the committee in 1975, its functions were transferred to the House Judiciary Committee.

    Members, 116th Congress

    MajorityMinority

    Sources: H.Res. 24 (Chair), H.Res. 25 (Ranking Member), H.Res. 46 (D), H.Res. 68 (R)

    Historical membership rosters

    115th Congress

    MajorityMinority

    Sources: H.Res. 6 (Chair), H.Res. 45 (D), H.Res. 51 (R) and H.Res. 95 (D)

    114th Congress

    MajorityMinority

    Sources:

    112th Congress

    MajorityMinority

    Sources:

    111th Congress

    MajorityMinority

    Subcommittees

    SubcommitteeChairRanking Member [5]
    Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law David Cicilline (D-RI) Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
    The Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Steve Cohen (D-TN) Mike Johnson (R-LA)
    Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Karen Bass (D-CA) John Ratcliffe (R-TX)
    Immigration and Citizenship Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Ken Buck (R-CO)
    Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Hank Johnson (D-GA) Martha Roby (R-AL)

    Task forces

    Antitrust Task Force: 108th Congress

    Chairman: Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI); Ranking member: John Conyers (D-MI)

    The Antitrust Task Force during the 108th Congress existed from March 26, 2003, to September 26, 2003. All Judiciary Committee Members also served as members of the Task Force, [6] and conducted hearings and investigations into consolidation of the Bell Telephone Companies. [7]

    Antitrust Task Force: 110th Congress

    Chairman: John Conyers (D-MI); Ranking member: Steve Chabot (R-OH)

    The Antitrust Task Force during the 110th Congress was established February 28, 2007, as a temporary subcommittee to examine the pending merger between XM Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. [8] The task force operated like any other subcommittee, except that it only has a six-month term. House Rules limit each full committee to just five subcommittees, and any task force, special subcommittee, or other subunit of a standing committee that is established for a cumulative period longer than six months in a Congress counts against that total. [9] A longer term for the task force would cause the Judiciary Committee to exceed this limit.

    Judicial Impeachment: 110th and 111th Congresses

    Chairman: Adam Schiff (D-CA); [10] Ranking member: Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) [10]

    Established in September 2008, [11] the Judicial Task force on Judicial Impeachment was to look into charges against District Judge Thomas Porteous. [11] The investigation was not completed by the end of the 110th Congress, and it was reestablished after the 111th Congress convened in January 2009. [12] The responsibilities of the Task Force were expanded to include the case of Judge Samuel B. Kent, [13] leading to hearings [14] and his subsequent impeachment by the full House of Representatives. [15] The Task force finally voted to impeach Porteous on January 21, 2010.

    Projects

    Hearings

    List of chairmen

    ChairmanPartyStateYears
    Charles J. Ingersoll Democratic-RepublicanPennsylvania1813 –
    1815
    Hugh Nelson Democratic-RepublicanVirginia1815 –
    1819
    John Sergeant Democratic-RepublicanPennsylvania1819 –
    1822
    Hugh Nelson Democratic-RepublicanVirginia1822 –
    1823
    Daniel Webster FederalistMassachusetts1823 –
    1827
    Philip P. Barbour DemocraticVirginia1827 –
    1829
    James Buchanan DemocraticPennsylvania1829 –
    1831
    Warren R. Davis DemocraticSouth Carolina1831 –
    1832
    John Bell DemocraticTennessee1832 –
    1834
    Thomas F. Foster WhigGeorgia1834 –
    1835
    Samuel Beardsley DemocraticNew York1835 –
    1836
    Francis Thomas DemocraticMaryland1836 –
    1839
    John Sergeant WhigPennsylvania1839 –
    1841
    Daniel D. Barnard WhigNew York1841 –
    1843
    William Wilkins DemocraticPennsylvania1843 –
    1844
    Romulus M. Saunders DemocraticNorth Carolina1844 –
    1845
    George O. Rathbun DemocraticNew York1845 –
    1847
    Joseph R. Ingersoll WhigPennsylvania1847 –
    1849
    James Thompson DemocraticPennsylvania1849 –
    1851
    James X. McLanahan DemocraticPennsylvania1851 –
    1853
    Frederick P. Stanton DemocraticTennessee1853 –
    1855
    George A. Simmons Whig & RepublicanNew York1855 –
    1857
    George S. Houston DemocraticAlabama1857 –
    1859
    John Hickman RepublicanPennsylvania1859 –
    1863
    James F. Wilson RepublicanIowa1863 –
    1869
    John A. Bingham RepublicanOhio1869 –
    1873
    Benjamin F. Butler RepublicanMassachusetts1873 –
    1875
    James P. Knott DemocraticKentucky1875 –
    1881
    Thomas Brackett Reed RepublicanMaine1881 –
    1883
    John R. Tucker DemocraticVirginia1883 –
    1887
    David B. Culberson DemocraticTexas1887 –
    1889
    Ezra B. Taylor RepublicanOhio1889 –
    1891
    David B. Culberson DemocraticTexas1891 –
    1895
    David B. Henderson RepublicanIowa1895 –
    1899
    George W. Ray RepublicanNew York1899 –
    1903
    John J. Jenkins RepublicanWisconsin1903 –
    1909
    Richard W. Parker RepublicanNew Jersey1909 –
    1911
    Henry De Lamar Clayton DemocraticAlabama1911 –
    1914
    Edwin Y. Webb DemocraticNorth Carolina1914 –
    1919
    Andrew J. Volstead RepublicanMinnesota1919 –
    1923
    George S. Graham RepublicanPennsylvania1923 –
    1931
    Hatton W. Sumners DemocraticTexas1931 –
    1947
    Earl C. Michener RepublicanMichigan1947 –
    1949
    Emanuel Celler DemocraticNew York1949 –
    1953
    Chauncey W. Reed RepublicanIllinois1953 –
    1955
    Emanuel Celler DemocraticNew York1955 –
    1973
    Peter W. Rodino Jr. DemocraticNew Jersey1973 –
    1989
    Jack Brooks DemocraticTexas1989 –
    1995
    Henry Hyde RepublicanIllinois1995 –
    2001
    Jim Sensenbrenner RepublicanWisconsin2001 –
    2007
    John Conyers DemocraticMichigan2007 –
    2011
    Lamar Smith RepublicanTexas2011 –
    2013
    Bob Goodlatte RepublicanVirginia2013 –
    2019
    Jerrold Nadler DemocraticNew York2019 –
    present

    See also

    Related Research Articles

    Zoe Lofgren American politician

    Susan Ellen "Zoe" Lofgren is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 19th congressional district, first elected to Congress in 1994.

    Thomas Porteous American judge

    Gabriel Thomas Porteous Jr. is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He served for sixteen years before being impeached and removed from office in December 2010.

    102nd United States Congress 1991–1993 U.S. Congress

    The One Hundred Second United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1991, to January 3, 1993, during the last two years of the administration of U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

    United States House Committee on Ways and Means Standing committee of the United States House of Representatives

    The Committee on Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee are not allowed to serve on any other House Committee unless they are granted a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including Social Security, unemployment benefits, Medicare, the enforcement of child support laws, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and foster care and adoption programs.

    Jerry Nadler U.S. Representative from New York

    Jerrold Lewis Nadler is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New York's 10th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he has served in Congress since 1992, previously representing the state's 17th congressional district (1992–1993) and 8th congressional district (1993–2013). Nadler has also been Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee since 2019.

    The United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States House of Representatives, also known as the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives, which has jurisdiction over bills and investigations related to the foreign affairs of the United States.

    United States House Committee on House Administration Standing committee of the United States House of Representatives

    The United States House Committee on House Administration deals with the general administration matters of the United States House of Representatives.

    Efforts to impeach George W. Bush

    During the presidency of George W. Bush, several American politicians sought to either investigate Bush for possibly impeachable offenses, or to bring actual impeachment charges on the floor of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The most significant of these efforts occurred on June 10, 2008, when Congressman Dennis Kucinich, along with co-sponsor Robert Wexler, introduced 35 articles of impeachment against Bush to the U.S. House of Representatives. The House voted 251 to 166 to refer the impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee on June 11, where no further action was taken on it. Bush's presidency ended on January 20, 2009, with the completion of his second term in office, rendering impeachment efforts moot.

    111th United States Congress 2009–2011 legislature of the United States

    The One Hundred Eleventh United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009, until January 3, 2011. It began during the last two weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of Barack Obama's presidency. It was composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The apportionment of seats in the House was based on the 2000 U.S. Census. In the November 4, 2008 elections, the Democratic Party increased its majorities in both chambers, giving President Obama a Democratic majority in the legislature for the first two years of his presidency. A new delegate seat was created for the Northern Mariana Islands. The 111th Congress had the most experienced members in history: at the start of the 111th Congress, the average member of the House had served 10.3 years, while the average Senator had served 13.4 years.

    United States House Committee on Natural Resources Standing committee of the United States House of Representatives

    The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources or Natural Resources Committee is a Congressional committee of the United States House of Representatives. Originally called the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (1951), the name was changed to the Committee on Natural Resources in 1991. The name was shortened to the Committee on Resources in 1995 by the new Chairman, Don Young. Following the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in 2006, the name of the committee was changed back to its title used between 1991 and 1995.

    Samuel B. Kent American judge

    Samuel B. Kent is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, who served in the single-judge Galveston Division covering Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, and Matagorda Counties. A member of the Republican Party, he was nominated by President George H. W. Bush on August 3, 1990, to a seat vacated by Hugh Gibson, confirmed by the United States Senate on September 28, 1990, and received his commission on October 1, 1990. His tenure as a United States District Court judge was marred from 2001 on by a series of disciplinary actions, culminating in his impeachment and resignation in 2009.

    In April 2007, United States Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed an impeachment resolution against Vice President Dick Cheney, seeking his trial in the Senate on three charges. After months of inaction, Kucinich re-introduced the exact content of H. Res 333 as a new resolution numbered H.Res. 799 in November 2007. Both resolutions were referred to the Judiciary Committee immediately after their introduction and the Committee did not consider either. Both resolutions expired upon the termination of the 110th United States Congress on 3 January 2009.

    James E. Rogan American politician, lawyer, writer and judge

    James Edward Rogan is a judge of the Superior Court of California, adjunct law professor, author and former Member of the United States House of Representatives from California. He also formerly served as United States Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, California State Assembly Majority Leader, a judge of the California Municipal Court, a gang murder prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and a civil litigator in private law practice. In January 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Rogan to be a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California, but the Senate failed to act on the nomination before the expiration of Bush's term in office.

    Jim Sensenbrenner American politician

    Frank James “Jim” Sensenbrenner Jr. is an American politician who has represented Wisconsin's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1979. Currently serving in his 21st term in the house, he is a Republican. Wisconsin's 5th district, the state's most Republican, includes many of Milwaukee's northern and western suburbs, and extends into rural Jefferson County. It was numbered as the 9th District until 2003.

    On June 19, 2008, the Judicial Conference of the United States delivered to the House of Representatives notification certifying "its determination that consideration of impeachment of United States District Judge Thomas Porteous may be warranted." After a number of months considering the matter, the House passed Resolution 1448, which authorized the House Judiciary committee to create a task force to investigate the matter. The task force's authority lapsed with the change of Congress, and on January 13, 2009, the House Passed Resolution 13, which renewed it. In May of that year, the Task Force's authority was expanded to include the Case of Samuel Kent, a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, leading to his impeachment by the House of Representatives on June 19, 2009.

    Numerous federal officials in the United States have been threatened with impeachment and removal from office. The majority of impeachment investigations that have taken place have not resulted in convictions.

    Impeachment is the procedure in which a legislative body, like the US Congress, can punish or remove government officials from their positions. This is a way for the legislative branch to check and balance the executive and judicial branches and police itself as well.

    Efforts to impeach Donald Trump Detailing the attempted impeachments of the current US President.

    Efforts to impeach Donald Trump have been proposed by various people and groups, who have asserted that President Donald Trump has engaged in impeachable activity during his presidency. Talk of impeachment began before Trump took office. Formal efforts were initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, both Democrats, in 2017, the first year of his presidency. Grounds asserted for potential impeachment have included possible violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign dignitaries; alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election campaign; alleged obstruction of justice with respect to investigation of the collusion claim; and accusations of "Associating the Presidency with White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism and Hatred", which formed the basis of a resolution for impeachment brought on December 6, 2017.

    References

    1. Estepa, Jessica (November 29, 2017). "Rep. Jerrold Nadler takes over as top Democrat on House Judiciary". USA Today . Retrieved December 5, 2017.
    2. https://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1800-1850/The-creation-of-the-Judiciary-Comm-1813_June_1/
    3. Wilkinson, Tracy (November 26, 2017). "Rep. John Conyers quits House committee post amid sexual harassment probe". Los Angeles Times . Los Angeles. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    4. Bachus news release Dec. 19
    5. "Collins Announces Ranking Members for House Judiciary Subcommittees". House Judiciary Committee. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
    6. Judiciary Task Force on Antitrust
    7. House Antitrust Task Force, Antitrust Review.com
    8. Anti-Trust Panel to Examine XM-Sirius Merger United States House Committee on the Judiciary Press Release, February 27, 2007
    9. Rules of the House of Representatives, Rule X(b)(C), Page 12
    10. 1 2 "House Judiciary Committee Announces Retention of Alan Baron to Lead Inquiry into Possible Impeachment of Judge Porteous" (Press release). U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. October 2, 2008. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
    11. 1 2 "House panel moves toward impeaching a judge". Associated Press. September 18, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
    12. Conyers, John Jr. (January 6, 2009). "H. Res. 15: Authorizing and directing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire whether the House should impeach G. Thomas Porteous, a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
    13. Conyers, John Jr. (May 29, 2009). "H. Res. 424: Authorizing and directing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire whether the House should impeach Samuel B. Kent, a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
    14. "Victims allege years of sexual misconduct by federal judge". CNN. June 3, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
    15. Powell, Stewart (June 19, 2009). "U.S. House impeaches Kent". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009. In action so rare it has been carried out only 14 times since 1803, the House on Friday impeached a federal judge — imprisoned U.S. District Court Judge Samuel B. Kent...