The Judiciary Committees: A Study of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees

By Peter H. Schuck; Ralph Nader Congress Project | Go to book overview

9
Administrative Practice and Procedure: Kennedy's Fire Brigade

As heir to the Kennedy political dynasty and as a leading presidential hopeful, Senator Edward M. Kennedy is not like the other members of Judiciary or, indeed, like other senators. Nor is his Judiciary subcommittee, the Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure (APP), like other subcommittees.

APP writes no basic laws, authorizes no funds, creates no programs. Rather, it thrusts straight at the public eye and ear; its weapons are the public media; and its target is public opinion.

One expects Kennedy's pronouncements at subcommittee hearings to sound like the grandiloquent calls to arms of a presidential candidate--and they often do. During an investigation of the efficiency of presidential commissions, for example, Kennedy,

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