House Judiciary Committee: Wikis


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President Gerald Ford appears at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing regarding his pardon of Richard Nixon.

U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, or (more commonly) 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 it is not required.

In the 111th Congress, the current chairman of the committee is Democrat John Conyers of Michigan, and the ranking minority member is Republican Lamar Smith of Texas.



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

Members, 111th Congress

There are 23 Democrats[1] and 16 Republicans[2] on the committee during the 111th Congress.

Majority Minority


Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Courts and Competition Policy Hank Johnson (D-GA) Howard Coble (R-NC)
Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Commercial and Administrative Law Steve Cohen (D-TN) Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Bobby Scott (D-VA) Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Steve King (R-IA)

Committee Task Forces


United States House Judiciary 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]

United States House Judiciary 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 Task force on 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]



Chairmen since 1813

Charles J. Ingersoll (R-PA) 1813-1815
Hugh Nelson (R-VA) 1815-1819
John Sergeant (R-PA) 1819-1822
Hugh Nelson (R-VA) 1822-1823
Daniel Webster (F-MA) 1823-1827
Philip P. Barbour (D-VA) 1827-1829
James Buchanan (D-PA) 1829-1831
Warren R. Davis (D-SC) 1831-1833
Thomas F. Foster (W-GA) 1833-1835
Samuel Beardsley (D-NY) 1835-1836
Francis Thomas (D-MD) 1836-1839
John Sergeant (W-PA) 1839-1841
Daniel D. Barnard (W-NY) 1841-1843
William Wilkins (D-PA) 1843-1844
Romulus M. Saunders (D-NC) 1844-1845
George O. Rathbun (D-NY) 1845-1847
Joseph R. Ingersoll (W-PA) 1847-1849

James Thompson (D-PA) 1849-1851
James X. McLanahan (D-PA) 1851-1853
Frederick P. Stanton (D-TN) 1853-1855
George A. Simmons (W/R-NY) 1855-1857
George S. Houston (D-AL) 1857-1859
John Hickman (R-PA) 1859-1863
James F. Wilson (R-IA) 1863-1869
John A. Bingham (R-OH) 1869-1873
Benjamin F. Butler (R-MA) 1873-1875
James P. Knott (D-KY) 1875-1881
Thomas Brackett Reed (R-ME) 1881-1883
John R. Tucker (D-VA) 1883-1887
David B. Culberson (D-TX) 1887-1889
Ezra B. Taylor (R-OH) 1889-1891
David B. Culberson (D-TX) 1891-1895
David B. Henderson (R-IA) 1895-1899
George W. Ray (R-NY) 1899-1903

John J. Jenkins (R-WI) 1903-1909
Richard W. Parker (R-NJ) 1909-1911
Henry De Lamar Clayton (D-AL) 1911-1914
Edwin Y. Webb (D-NC) 1914-1919
Andrew J. Volstead (R-MN) 1919-1923
George S. Graham (R-PA) 1923-1931
Hatton W. Sumners (D-TX) 1931-1947
Earl C. Michener (R-MI) 1947-1949
Emmanuel Celler (D-NY) 1949-1953
Chauncey W. Reed (R-IL) 1953-1955
Emmanuel Celler (D-NY) 1955-1973
Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (D-NJ) 1973-1989
Jack Brooks (D-TX) 1989-1995
Henry J. Hyde (R-IL) 1995-2001
Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) 2001-2007
John Conyers (D-MI) 2007-

See also


  1. ^ Resolution (H.Res. 74) electing majority members to standing committees.
  2. ^ Resolution (H.Res. 38) electing minority members to standing committees.
  3. ^ H.Res. 381
  4. ^ H.Res. 834
  5. ^ "Goodlatte Appointed Vice Ranking Member of House Judiciary Committee". Congressman Bob Goodlatte. 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2009-01-16.  
  6. ^ Judiciary Task Force on Antitrust
  7. ^ House Antitrust Task Force, Antitrust
  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. ^ a b U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary (2008-10-02). "House Judiciary Committee Announces Retention of Alan Baron to Lead Inquiry into Possible Impeachment of Judge Porteous". Press release. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  11. ^ a b "House panel moves toward impeaching a judge". Associated Press. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  12. ^ Conyers, John, Jr. (2009-01-06). "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 2009-06-27.  
  13. ^ Conyers, John, Jr. (2009-05-29). "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 2009-06-27.  
  14. ^ "Victims allege years of sexual misconduct by federal judge". CNN. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  15. ^ Powell, Stewart (2009-06-19). "U.S. House impeaches Kent". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-27. "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..."   (Archived by WebCite at
  16. ^ Hearing information on HR 569, House Judiciary Committee (retrieved June 3, 2009)

External links


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