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Posted at 04:38 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Bobby Rush and other great moments in congressional dress-code flouting: Bella Abzug, Jim Mattox, John Randolph

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) sure made a statement when he appeared on the House floor in a hoodie — a moment of solidarity with shooting victim Trayvon Martin that got him ruled out of order and escorted out of the room — but it was hardly a first. Here are some other great moments in deliberate congressional dress code flouting:

Rep. Jim Mattox. (Family Photo)

• 1979: Rep. Jim Mattox (D-Tex.) appears on the House floor in shirtsleeves during an energy-crisis mandate to raise the thermostats in summer; gets into a stand-off with then-Speaker Tip O’Neill, who orders him to go put on a coat and tie.

Rep. Bella Abzug in 1975. (Frank Johnston/The Washington Post)
• 1973: Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.) walks onto the House floor for the first time after her election and is stopped by House Doorkeeper William “Fishbait” Miller, who warns that her trademark hat is not allowed. She tells him to go do something we’re not allowed to repeat here — but does remove the hat.

John Randolph and his hounds (New York Public Library)

• 1811: Rep. John Randolph of Roanoke, famous for wearing his buckskin breeches and riding coat onto the House floor, accessorized by a whip and mug of porter ale (and sometimes multiple overcoats that he’d just toss on the ground), runs afoul of new Speaker Henry Clay with his habit of bringing his hounds onto the floor as well. Years later, the two men engage in a non-lethal duel to settle grudges unrelated to dress codes.

Related: Rep. Bobby Rush chided for wearing hoodie on House floor for Trayvon Martin

Bobby Rush’s House-floor protest: when is a hoodie a hat?

Bobby Rush: A hoodie in the House? Someday, it might be all good

By  |  04:38 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Categories:  Politics

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