After the impressive performance of the House Judiciary Committee during the recent impeachment hearings, Americans may be...

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JUSTICE ON THE HILL: A Study of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees

After the impressive performance of the House Judiciary Committee during the recent impeachment hearings, Americans may be unreceptive to this latest Ralph Nader muckraking job. Part of the Nader ""Congress Project,"" Justice on the Hill is a precise, detailed, albeit unspectacular expose of the anomalies and inequities endemic in the functioning of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. This study essentially covers the 92nd Congress, before the impeachment hearings built up a full head of steam, and while the octogenarian Emanuel Celler was still presiding in the House. But the actual workings of the committees and subcommittees have presumably not changed much. Schuck indicts, among other things, the ""seniority-rich"" Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by southern aristocrat James Eastland whose philosophy of inaction has smothered a great deal of progressive, liberal legislation -- whose obstruction in the civil rights field has made it necessary for equal opportunity advocates to circumvent Eastland and his committee entirely. Schuck, who supplies the exact budgets for both committees, also deplores the inordinately high appropriations Eastland receives (""by far the largest in Congress"") -- some of the money going to subcommittees which haven't met in years. The House Committee, now chaired by Peter Rodino, is charged with similar sins; though its overall record is far more liberal, it has shown a singular lack of initiative in generating and developing bills. Schuck reviews the accomplishments (and the lack of accomplishments) of the two committees in such areas as antitrust, criminal justice, invasion of privacy, prison conditions, drug control, patents and copyrights and censorship. It is a generally dispiriting picture. A very responsible report, but primarily of interest to students of politics and specialists.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Grossman/Viking

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974