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Rep. Henry Hyde chairs the House Judiciary Committee. (Post file photo)

From the Post
Profile: Majority Counsel David Schippers (Oct. 6)
Profile: Minority Counsel Abbe Lowell (Oct. 6)
Profiles of Committee Staff Directors (Oct. 2)
The Judiciary Committee: A Mix of Extremes (Sept. 27)


Committee Profiles

Updated December 11, 1998

Keep track of who's who on the 37-member House Judiciary Committee. The 21 Republicans and 16 Democrats are profiled below, ranked by seniority. Additional information comes from The Post and washingtonpost.com's Congressional Guide.

REPUBLICANS:
REP. HENRY HYDE, R-Ill., 74, elected 1974, chairman House Judiciary Committee
An articulate Catholic conservative and longtime abortion foe, Hyde is a well-respected member of Congress. The September disclosure of Hyde's extramarital affair 30 years ago provoked an extraordinary display of acrimony; Republicans blamed the story on the White House, presidential aides complained they were being unfairly smeared and Hyde offered to resign from the committee, a move House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) rejected. Hyde stood up for the committee when Gingrich said he wanted a smaller, hand-picked group of Republicans to review Starr's report before turning it over to the Judiciary panel. Hyde has amassed a conservative voting record; the Hyde amendment bars funding abortion services with federal money. He won reelection in November with 67 percent of the vote
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Opening Statements from November 19 Hearing
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Hyde Story Stirs Hostilities (Washington Post, Sept. 18)
Hyde: No Special Treatment for White House (Washington Post, Sept. 12)
Hyde's Unimpeachable Character (Washington Post, May 12)
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, R-Wisc., 55, elected 1978
Sensenbrenner holds seniority on the Judiciary Committee, but despite his past activity he has not taken a prominent public role on the panel in the 105th Congress. Instead, Sensenbrenner has focused on issues like the international space station and global warming on the House Science Committee, which he chairs. The 1998 Almanac of American Politics describes the Wisconsin native as a "stickler for rules and ethics" who "has insisted on impeachment action against federal judges convicted of crimes." Sensenbrenner won 91 percent of the vote in November.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Opening Statements from November 19 Hearing
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. BILL MCCOLLUM, R-Fla., 54, elected 1980, chairman House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime
McCollum, chairman of the Crime Subcommittee, has steered the GOP's tough-on-criminals initiatives. He sponsored several anti-drug bills and a successful measure to ensure that crime victims and their families are not locked out of federal criminal trials.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. GEORGE GEKAS, R-Pa., 68, elected 1982, chairman House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law
Chairman of the subcommittee that oversees administrative law issues, Gekas monitors authorizations for the Office of Independent Counsel. During the late 1980s, Gekas participated in impeachment proceedings against former federal judge Alcee Hastings, a Democrat who now represents Florida's 23rd Congressional District. (The House voted overwhelmingly to impeach Hastings and the Senate voted to remove him from office, but he never was convicted in court of the allegations that led to his ouster.) Gekas's main accomplishment on the Judiciary panel during the 105th Congress has been steering his bankruptcy reform bill [H.R. 3150] through the House. The bill would establish for the first time "means-testing" of those seeking to file for bankruptcy. It would force people who can afford to repay more of their debts to do so.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. HOWARD COBLE, R-N.C., 67, elected 1984, chairman House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property
Gruff-speaking and prone using to dog clichés (as in, "This dog won't hunt") to describe some political situations and doomed legislation, Coble has focused on judicial reform and copyright legislation that traveled through the Judiciary panel this Congress.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. LAMAR SMITH, R-Texas, 51, elected 1986, chairman House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
A stickler on illegal immigration, Smith focused on immigration reform legislation in both the 104th and 105th Congresses. He has taken a very critical view of the Immigration and Naturalization Service because of several well-publicized management fiascoes, but is kinder in his remarks about INS Commissioner Doris Meissner. Smith is a cautious conservative and was appointed to the House Ethics Committee last year.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. ELTON GALLEGLY, R-Calif., 54, elected 1986
Gallegly, who represents almost all of California's Ventura County near Los Angeles, has positioned himself prominently as a foe of illegal immigration. He successfully moved a bill through Congress (Pub. L. 105-141) directing the federal government to establish a program identifying illegal immigrants incarcerated in some American jails so they may be deported after completing their sentences.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile

   



REP. CHARLES CANADY, R-Fla., 44, elected 1992, chairman House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.
Sometimes coolly combative and staunchly conservative, Canady is one of the most active members of the Judiciary Committee. He has railed against abortion rights except under certain circumstances and worked to pass a ban on so-called "partial-birth abortions" and prohibit people from taking pregnant minors across state lines to have an abortion without parental consent.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. BOB INGLIS, R-S.C., 39, elected 1992
Inglis, who called on Clinton to resign over the Lewinsky matter, is resigning his House seat and lost his 1998 Senate bid against Democrat Ernest Hollings. A conservative, comparatively low-key member of the panel, Inglis faithfully toes the party line on votes. He has played a central role in debates over term limits during the last few years, calling for a three-term (six-year) limit for House members. Inglis tried not to become too entrenched in Washington, even going so far as to sleep on an air mattress in his office rather than find another part-time "home" in this city.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. BOB GOODLATTE, R-Va., 46, elected 1992
If a bill deals with encryption or the Internet, chances are Goodlatte has taken an interest in it. He has tried for well over a year to pass legislation [H.R. 695] to relax the Clinton administration's export controls imposed on strong encryption software. He has been stymied by those claiming that loosening the export restrictions would threaten national security.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. STEVE BUYER, R-Ind., 40, elected 1992
Buyer has been less visible on the Judiciary Committee than he has been on the Veterans' Affairs panel. Buyer, a reservist, was called to active service during Desert Storm as a legal adviser to a prisoner-of-war camp in the Persian Gulf. He now suffers from some of the same ailments as other soldiers returning from the Gulf, and has called for more investigation into the "Gulf War Syndrome." He also helped pass a law in a previous Congress permitting the Veterans Administration to compensate Gulf War veterans with disabilities from undiagnosed illnesses.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. ED BRYANT, R-Tenn., 50, elected 1994
Bryant has taken a tough stand against crime on the Judiciary Committee, although he is not a vocal member of the often boisterous panel. He generally votes with his party on committee matters.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. STEVE CHABOT, R-Ohio, 45, elected 1994
While often voting with other Republicans on the Judiciary panel in the 105th Congress, Chabot worked against Immigration and Claims Subcommittee Chairman Smith during the 104th Congress to separate illegal immigration overhauls from legal immigration provisions. He occasionally departs from the party line on certain votes he feels strongly about, such as the 1996 GOP budget plan, which he deemed too "liberal."

Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. BOB BARR, R-Ga., 50, elected 1994
Long before Monica Lewinsky became a household name, Barr introduced the first impeachment resolution against Clinton over alleged fund-raising irregularities and other matters. The conservative, who has co-authored an anti-Clinton book, last November introduced House Res. 304, a resolution directing the Judiciary Committee to investigate whether grounds existed to impeach Clinton. Some members of his own party criticized Barr for that, although the measure did garner 22 Republican cosponsors. Barr also is closely allied with the National Rifle Association and is vocal about gun ownership issues.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Direct Access: Interview with Rep. Bob Barr (April 10)
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. WILLIAM JENKINS, R-Tenn., 62, elected 1996
Jenkins, a former circuit court judge and conservative committee back-bencher, is a relatively quiet member of the panel. He votes with other Republicans nearly all the time and has sponsored just three bills of his own this Congress: two to suspend duties on certain types of goods and one recognizing the cities of Bristol, Tenn., and Bristol, Va., for their contributions to country music.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. ASA HUTCHINSON, R-Ark., 48, elected 1996
Hutchinson, a former federal prosecutor, is a relative newcomer to the panel who often participates in debate and votes with his party most of the time. However, he did show a bipartisan streak when he worked with other Republican and Democratic freshman on a campaign finance overhaul bill that was defeated on the House floor. He ran for Congress after his brother – Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R) – left the House to run for the Senate in 1996.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. EDWARD PEASE, R-Ind., 47, elected 1996
Another lower profile member of the Judiciary Committee, Pease he has been active on both the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile

   



REP. CHRISTOPHER CANNON, R-Utah, 48, elected 1996
Cannon, a former Reagan administration official, was elected in 1996. His district opposed a plan by President Clinton establishing a 1.7 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National monument in an area that is a revenue source for local schools.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. JAMES ROGAN, R-Calif., 41, elected 1996
Handpicked by Newt Gingrich last summer to study possible impeachment proceedings, Rogan assumed the late-Rep. Sonny Bono's seat on the Judiciary Committee earlier this year. Representing several communities near downtown Los Angeles including the community of Burbank – home of NBC Studios, Disney's headquarters and other multimedia entertainment firms – Rogan is in a prime spot to keep up with intellectual property issues important to his entertainment-focused district.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C., 43, elected 1994
In his two terms in office, Graham has registered a nearly perfect voting record by American Conservative Union standards. He was one of the leaders of the failed coup attempt against Gingrich in the summer of 1997. Graham assumed the Judiciary Committee seat of the late Rep. Steven Schiff (R-N.M.) in early 1998.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Lindsey Graham, a Twang of Moderation (Washington Post, Oct. 7)
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. MARY BONO, R-Calif., 37, elected 1998
Bono, the widow of the late Rep. Sonny Bono (R-Calif.), won her husband's Palm Springs congressional seat in a special election in April. Amid speculation that the committee might be receiving Starr’s report on the Lewinsky matter, and since there were no Republican women on the panel, an extra seat on the Judiciary Committee was created for Bono.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


DEMOCRATS:
REP. JOHN CONYERS, D-Mich., 69, elected 1964, ranking member House Judiciary Committee
Conyers is the only member of the House Judiciary Committee who served on the panel in 1974 that approved three articles of impeachment against President Nixon and sent them to the full House. (Nixon resigned before the House voted on the impeachment question.) The Starr inquiry soured relations between Conyers and Chairman Hyde when Conyers claimed that $1.3 million in extra funds for the committee was set aside in March in preparation for an impeachment inquiry. Hyde said the money was needed to hire 18 additional staff members for a thorough and long overdue review of the Justice Department. As ranking member, Conyers leads Judiciary Democrats, but some very active Democrats on the panel who at times overshadow Conyers.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Opening Statements From November 19 Hearing (Washington Post, Oct. 13)
Scandal Makes Conyers a Player Once Again (Washington Post, Oct. 13)
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile

   



REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-Mass., 58, elected 1980, ranking member House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property
One of two openly gay members of Congress, Frank is a sharp-tongued debater and partisan spokesman for committee Democrats. Frank plays a general's role in Democratic resistance to GOP-sponsored bills both in committee and on the House floor. He delights in finding what he considers hypocrisy or inconsistency in GOP positions and has a solidly liberal voting record.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y., 48, elected 1980, ranking member House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime
Schumer, who will leave the House to take over Republican Alfonse D'Amato's Senate seat in January, is an ardent liberal and a strong supporter of gun control legislation. He was a key supporter of the Brady Bill, the assault rifle ban and other crime legislation.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. HOWARD BERMAN, D-Calif., 57, elected 1982
A former union lawyer, Berman is a quiet, behind-the-scenes deal-maker who served on the House Ethics Committee that levied a $300,000 fine against Gingrich in early 1997. He has been involved in several issues before the panel, including immigration and high-tech matters, but he also is deeply involved in foreign relations as ranking member of the International Relations Subcommittee for Asia and the Pacific. Berman has sponsored just one bill in the 105th Congress, a resolution [H.Con.Res. 283] "expressing grave concern" about a December 1997 report on human rights issues in Tibet.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. RICK BOUCHER, D-Va., 52, elected 1982
Boucher, a conservative Democrat representing the western counties of Virginia, has been most active on intellectual property issues. Boucher's district encompasses Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and he repeatedly has fought legislation he believes will discourage high-tech hardware manufacturers from inventing and selling their gadgets. During debate over a crucial copyright bill [H.R. 2281] the congressman won some concessions, easing manufacturers' fears of lawsuits if their products are used to infringe a copyright.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. JERROLD NADLER, D-N.Y., 51, elected 1992, ranking member House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law
Nadler has amassed a solidly liberal voting record, and did not see much legislative success in the GOP-controlled 105th Congress. Nadler has sharply criticized GOP bankruptcy reform legislation. He strongly opposes means-testing of those who file for bankruptcy, but Rep. George Gekas (R-Pa.), chairman of the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee, shepherded such a bill [H.R. 3150] through the House. Nadler said he blames the dramatic increase of bankruptcy filings on the reckless extension of credit by profit-hungry lenders, and he attempted several times to amend the Gekas bill.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. ROBERT (BOBBY) SCOTT, D-Va. , 51, elected 1992, ranking member House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution
Scott, ranking member of the Constitution Subcommittee, was tasked in the 105th Congress with the responsibility of heading off GOP-backed legislation on certain constitutional issues including abortion, affirmative action and religion. Outspoken and articulate, Scott also was the first African American to win election to Congress from Virginia since Reconstruction, according to the 1996 Almanac of American Politics.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. MELVIN WATT, D-N.C., 53, elected 1992, ranking member House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
Immigration issues are hardly Watt's passion, but he willingly shouldered his responsibilities as ranking member of that subcommittee. Watt, a slow-speaking North Carolinian, would rather be ranking member of the Constitution Subcommittee, a slot held by his good friend, Rep. Scott (D-Va.). Watt is a frequent sharp foe of Republicans in the full committee on most issues.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. ZOE LOFGREN, D-Calif., 50, elected 1994
Lofgren, whose district includes Silicon Valley, has taken lead roles on some high-tech issues confronting Congress, such as encryption exports and access to biomaterials. Improving education, especially in math and science, is another key issue for her.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE, D-Texas, 48, elected 1994
On the Judiciary Committee and in the full House, Jackson Lee – who has a powerful speaking voice – is a frequent participant in debate. She was the only Texan not to vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, which sought to outlaw same sex marriages; she voted "present" instead.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Opening Statement From the November 19 Hearing
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-Calif., 50, elected 1990
Waters, who heads the Congressional Black Caucus, is a tried-and-true liberal. She was instrumental in helping to defeat in committee a bill [H.R. 1909] sponsored by Rep. Canady that was designed to end federal affirmative action programs. While a Republican, Rep. Gekas, was ultimately responsible for killing the bill by offering a motion to table it, Waters spearheaded a successful effort to round up civil rights leaders and average citizens from across the country to attend that hearing and illustrate the depth of opposition to the bill.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. MARTY MEEHAN, D-Mass., 41, elected 1992
Meehan gained prominence as the cosponsor of the bipartisan Shays-Meehan campaign finance overhaul bill that passed the House despite objections from the Republican leadership. He also has taken the lead in anti-tobacco legislation.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. WILLIAM DELAHUNT, D-Mass., 57, elected 1996
Delahunt, a former district attorney for Norfolk County in Massachusetts, has leapt into the issues fray at the Judiciary Committee. He appears well-equipped to debate the fine points of law confronting the panel.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Opening Statement From the November 19 Hearing
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. ROBERT WEXLER, D-Fla., 37, elected 1996
The freshman congressman sometimes sides with Republicans on crime issues. Wexler was a vociferous opponent of efforts to continue the impeachment process during hearings to consider whether to recommend an inquiry.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Excerpts from October 8 Debate on Impeachment Inquiry
Excerpts from October 5 Statement on Impeachment Inquiry
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. STEVEN ROTHMAN, D-N.J., 46, elected 1996
Rothman, a former local judge, sometimes sides with Republicans on the panel.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 10 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile


REP. THOMAS BARRETT, D-Wis., 45, elected 1992
Barrett is the newest member of the committee, having the distinction of being named by Democratic leaders on Sept. 11 – the same day the independent counsel's explosive report on the president's alleged wrongdoing became public. "I am honored to serve ... during such a critical period," said Barrett, who practiced law before he won election to the House. A liberal on social issues, he supported several gun control measures, including a ban on "cop killer" bullets. Barrett has been more moderate on economic issues and last year received the second-best rating in Congress from the bipartisan Concord Coalition for his votes to reduce the budget deficit. As an active member of the Banking Committee, he sponsored legislation to limit consumers' liability from credit card fraud and to overhaul the bankruptcy code.
Vote on Impeachment
Opening Statements from December 11 Hearing
Questions Asked of Kenneth Starr on November 19
Congressional Guide Profile

LEGI-SLATE News Service reporters Bill Ghent, Sara Hebel, Molly Peterson, Katherine Harris, Justin Pritchard and David Safford contributed to this report.


© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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