5/25 ENFORCEMENT OF ETHICAL STANDARDS IN CONGRESS … or what used to be settled practice under US constitution

“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust . . . .”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 57.

Members of Congress, like other citizens in the United States, are subject to investigation and prosecution for criminal misconduct and other statutory violations through the criminal justice system, initiated by Federal, State, or local public prosecutors, and conducted through the courts. Violations of “ethical norms” and principles of ethical behavior by a Member, however, are enforced, principally, at the ballot box by the Member’s constituents who choose their representatives in Congress, but are also enforced internally in each House of Congress by other Members of the House or the Senate.

The enforcement of Federal statutory laws, including criminal statutes, is vested in the President of the United States by the United States Constitution at Article I, Section 1. Criminal prosecutions for Federal crimes are under the authority of the Attorney General, appointed by the President as head of the Justice Department in the executive branch.1 Members of Congress have no general immunity from criminal prosecutions,2 and are subject to prosecution for violations of Federal criminal laws by the United States Attorneys of the Department of Justice.3

Unlike criminal laws or other Federal statutory provisions, however, there exist broad ethical standards, codes of conduct or behavior, and general principles of morality, written or unwritten, by which a Member of Congress may also be judged. This chapter explores these ethical standards and their enforcement in the Congress.

Each House of Congress has been given in the United States Constitution express authority and responsibility for decisions about the qualifications, elections, and the conduct of its own Members. The Constitution expressly instructs that each House of Congress “shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns, and Qualifications of its own Members;”4 and further provides that each House of Congress may determine its own rules of proceedings, may “punish its Members for disorderly Behavior,” and may, “with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.”5

The direction to discipline or “punish” its own Members, and the authority to expel, relate directly to and inform the right “recognized by common parliamentary law” of self-preservation of the institutional integrity of the legislature and its proceedings.6 Even if not granted expressly within a constitution or similar document, authorities have contended that the right to expel and to discipline members of a legislative body is an inherent right of that institution. This disciplinary authority has been described as one “naturally and even necessarily incidental to . . . legislative bodies; which, without such power, could not exist honorably, and fulfill the object of their creation.”7

The power and practice of congressional self-discipline for legislative misconduct is one which is, to some extent, compelled by the structure of our Federal government. In formulating the new Federal government, the Framers of the Constitution were determined, for reasons of the balance of powers and of “checks and balances” within the governmental system, to have three independent and co-equal branches of government.8 As part of the assurance of an independent legislature, one not fettered nor intimidated by a powerful law-enforcing executive, the Constitution expressly granted a limited immunity to Members of Congress from prosecution when the conduct involved official legislative activities.9 The so-called “speech or debate” clause immunity provides that a Member “shall not be questioned in any other place” concerning official legislative conduct.10 Since a Member may not be questioned “in any other place” regarding certain conduct in the legislative process, this speech or debate immunity provides a cogent and practical reason for the countervailing authority and responsibility within the Constitution for congressional self-discipline and the necessity for internal enforcement of legislative standards of conduct.

The practice of internal discipline within our national legislature reflected British parliamentary experience, as did the recognition by the Framers of the need to protect the independence and privileges of the legislature from undue influence or intimidation from the executive. In parliamentary practice, the House of Commons has had the right to discipline or “punish its own Members for disorderly conduct” and for other contempts or breaches of the privileges of the House.11 This authority was concurrent with that of punishing contempt by those who are not Members, and sought to protect the integrity of the legislative institution, and its privileges and functions.12

The constitutional authority for the legislative bodies in Congress to discipline their own Members did not appear to be accompanied by any significant debate in the Constitutional Convention, save for the amendment by James Madison to require a two-thirds majority to expel a Member so that such “an important right” could not be exercised “by a bare majority” and thus could be a power which majority factions might dangerously abuse.13 Madison and Hamilton had earlier expressed concern, with respect to the issue of “qualifications” of Members, that if the institution of Congress itself could limit membership to those that it deemed to be “fit” to serve in the legislature, the institution might usurp from the people the power to choose whom they wished to represent them in Congress.14 The authority to expel stated in the Constitution was not, however, couched with any additional limitations other than the requirement for a super-majority of two-thirds.

In punishing Members by means other than expulsion, the constitutional provision originally drafted in the Committee on Detail provided simply the authority for each House to “punish,” but as finally reported added the modifier phrase that each House may punish for “disorderly behavior.” There had in the past been questions raised about whether the power to punish for “disorderly behavior” was restricted only to conduct in Congress, that is, behavior which directly disrupted the proceedings and functions of the institution itself. But early precedents and discussions indicated clearly that of Congress the power to discipline was not narrowly focused on merely internal conduct within the institution, nor was congressional authority limited merely to addressing misconduct or disorderly behavior which was not otherwise considered as a criminal or civil offense.15 In his historic work on the Constitution, Justice Joseph Story noted in 1833 that congressional disciplinary authority under this clause of the Constitution is apparently unqualified as to “the time, place or nature of the offense” for which one is to be punished, similar to the British parliamentary practice.16

Later cases and precedents within the House and Senate have affirmed the broad application of each House’s authority to “punish” misconduct by means other than expulsion. In the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, the Select Committee to Study the Censure Charges in the 83d Congress reported to the Senate: “It seems clear that if a Senator should be guilty of reprehensible conduct unconnected with his official duties and position, but which conduct brings the Senate into disrepute, the Senate has the power to censure.”17 The House of Representatives has held a similar view. In the report on Representative Adam Clayton Powell from the House Judiciary Committee, the Committee noted that: “Nor is the conduct for which punishment may be imposed limited to acts relating to the Member’s official duties.”18

Unlike the enforcement of criminal laws, or even civil litigation to resolve competing legal claims, ethics procedures and the enforcement of general standards of ethical conduct or professional responsibilities are, by their nature, generally collegial exercises, where peers must judge the conduct of those within their own group, profession, or own organization. Professional boards of review and panels for professional responsibility, discipline, and review are somewhat common for many occupations and professions in the private sector.

In the public sector, ethics enforcement is, to a large extent, similarly an internal, in-house procedure. The executive agencies of the Federal Government, for example, are instructed to appoint an official of the agency as the Designated Agency Ethics Officer to provide the front-line interpretations and instructions to officers and employees of the agency concerning standards of ethical conduct. Although there is now a centralized agency which provides coordination of ethics interpretations and standards, that agency, the Office of Government Ethics, does not generally involve itself in day-to-day enforcement of ethics of individual employees within an agency. Rather, the regulations on standards of conduct, promulgated by each executive agency in line with presidential executive orders and regulations of the Office of Government Ethics, are enforced internally by the respective agency.19 The courts have recognized that enforcement of ethical standards of conduct in the Federal Government is an exercise of discretion, applying often subjective terms and general ethical principles and concepts, and is an area where the organization or institution itself has the experience, expertise, and familiarity with the acceptable standards of conduct, mores, and nature of the responsibilities of the official.20

In the judicial branch of the Federal Government, a judicial review panel or committee, made up of sitting Federal judges, reviews conduct and disciplinary complaints concerning members of the Federal judiciary.21 The review committee may forward a report on a particular matter to the judicial council in that circuit for appropriate action, including censure, reprimand, temporary suspension of assigning cases to that judge, request to the judge to retire, and/or referral of a matter to the House of Representatives for possible impeachment proceedings.22

Somewhat similar to officials and officers in the executive and judicial branches of government, Members of Congress are subject to an ethics review and possible disciplinary proceedings by their peers in their respective House of Congress. As noted, the authority for internal discipline of misconduct in Congress derives directly from the Constitution, in Article I, Section 5, which gives each House of Congress the authority to “punish its Members” for misconduct and to expel a Member by a two-thirds vote.

Prior to the 1960s there was no full-time or standing ethics committee in either the House or the Senate. Complaints of misconduct or behavior abusive to or disruptive of the proceedings and privileges of either House of Congress were generally referred to an ad hoc special or select committee in the House or Senate for investigations, determinations, and recommendations. A matter concerning misconduct could also have been referred to a standing committee which normally had jurisdiction in other areas, such as the committees on the judiciary, or the rules or administration committees. There was no specific set of rules for proceedings in disciplinary matters, nor was there a written code of conduct or a written set of ethics rules.

The Senate in 1964, and the House in 1967, established for the first time standing committees on ethics to which complaints of misconduct and resolutions for disciplinary action would be referred, and where Members and employees might also seek advice and opinions on matters of ethical standards. The permanent Senate ethics committee, then known as the Select Committee on Standards and Conduct, was created by S. Res. 338, in the 88th Congress, by the adoption of a substitute proposal of Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, on July 24, 1964. Events arising out of the Bobby Baker investigation in the Senate by the Senate Rules Committee had propelled the matter of a standing committee for ethics in the Senate to full Senate consideration. In 1977 the Senate Select Committee on Ethics was established to replace the former Standards and Conduct Committee.

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct was created when the House adopted H. Res. 418, 90th Congress, on April 13, 1967. During hearings before the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress in 1965, and in its final report, a recommendation was made to establish a permanent House committee for standards and conduct, similar to the one established in the Senate in 1964.23 Shortly after the Joint Committee’s report, and following highly publicized allegations of official misconduct by Representative Adam Clayton Powell, a House Select Committee on Standards and Conduct was established during the final days of the 89th Congress.24 In the 90th Congress, H. Res. 418 established a new Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. That Committee recommended changes in the House rules dealing with standards of ethical conduct and recommended its continuance as a permanent standing committee.25 Based on that report, H. Res. 1099 was reported from the House Rules Committee containing much of the substance of the Standards Committee report, including making permanent the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and was adopted by the House on April 3, 1968.

In 1968 a written code of ethical conduct was for the first time adopted in the House and in the Senate. Prior to that time Members were judged almost exclusively on unwritten ethical norms and standards of conduct and behavior.26 The ethics codes in the House and Senate have been amended, updated, and tightened on several occasions since 1968, most notably in 1977, and again in the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.

The standing committees on ethics in the House and the Senate were intended to be permanent committees to develop expertise and precedents in the area of legislative ethics, conduct, and disciplinary actions. Unlike other legislative committees in the House and Senate, the membership of the House Standards and Senate Ethics committees are equally divided between majority and minority party members to require and assure at least some bipartisanship in the consideration of issues relating to ethics and standards of conduct.

Disciplinary proceedings in the committees now follow detailed procedural rules, and if warranted, evidence is eventually taken in formal hearings presided over by a panel of Members of the Committee who are sitting Members of the House or the Senate, respectively. Any formal disciplinary action by the institution, such as a censure or expulsion and, in the House of Representatives, a reprimand, is recommended by the House or Senate ethics committee to the respective body, and there voted upon by the full House or Senate. Both the House and Senate Committees have also issued letters of reproval or reprimand on their own accord to Members, but this is not considered a formal disciplinary action by the entire institution such as a censure.
In the House the disciplinary procedure since 1990 has been “bifurcated,” wherein a subcommittee of Members of the standing committee will review the initial charges and will conduct the preliminary investigations. If more formal ethics charges are to be heard (upon the issuance of a “Statement of Alleged Violations’), then another subcommittee made of the remaining Members of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct hears the evidence and determines whether the charges are proven. The full Committee then may make disciplinary recommendations to the membership of the House.

Actual disciplinary actions by the full Senate or House have, in fact, been relatively rare. The Senate has adopted censure motions only eight times, censuring nine Senators, in its history, and has not expelled a Member of the Senate since the Civil War. (Fourteen Senators were expelled during the Civil War for disloyalty to the Union, and one other Senator expelled in 1797, also for disloyal conduct). The House has censured 22 Members (21 Representatives and one Delegate), and “reprimanded” seven others, while expelling only four of its Members in its history, three during the Civil War for disloyalty to the Union, and the most recent expulsion in 1980 after conviction for bribery in congressional office.

The low number of actual disciplinary actions may be attributable to some degree to the fact that many Members, facing such disciplinary action, prefer to resign from Congress rather than to pursue the matter. In other instances, the voters have either not renominated the Member in a primary, or voted the individual out of office in the general election before disciplinary action is completed.

The regular electoral review of a Member of Congress is a significant factor in the theory and practice of congressional discipline. It also distinguishes disciplinary procedures in the House and Senate from disciplinary procedures of government officials who are appointed with indefinite tenure, such as those in the judicial and executive branches who never have to face the judgment of the public by standing for regular election or reelection to office. In framing the Constitution, as was discussed above, great deference was paid to the sanctity of the choice of the electorate as to whom the people wished to send to Washington to represent them in Congress,27 and great weight was given to keeping the Members of the legislature “virtuous” by short terms of office and the “restraint of frequent elections.”28

On the other hand, however, it is recognized that discipline cannot be left entirely to the public through the electoral process, since the institution of Congress itself, like all legislatures, has a vital interest in self-preservation and in the integrity of the institution and its proceedings.29 Thus, each House of Congress was given the express authority in the Constitution for such self-discipline.

The balance between controlling the conduct of individual Members through the electoral process and honoring the sanctity of the expression of the will of the people, on the one hand, and the institutional needs of the House or the Senate itself to preserve the integrity of the institution and its proceedings, on the other, is one which must be carefully maintained in internal ethics enforcement.30

Many observers argue, however, that it is not the reverence for and the sanctity of the electoral process that has principally restrained Congress in self-enforcement of conduct standards and ethical principles. It has been noted on many occasions that the enforcement of ethical standards against one’s peers, and disciplining individuals that one must work with, is a difficult and uncomfortable task. Some critics of congressional ethics procedures have argued that the inherent and structural “conflicts” in congressional self-discipline are the causes of what is seen to be an apparent reticence of Congress to enforce ethical standards against its own Members. Members must cooperate to a large extent with one another in the legislative process, and thus there is a natural reticence for Members to do something detrimental to one another. Many Members are now reluctant to serve on an ethics committee, where the proceedings may take a great amount of one’s time, and where the Member may be subject to criticisms from the public if perceived as being too lenient, or from congressional colleagues if perceived as being too harsh.

Several reforms have thus been suggested to mitigate the inherent conflict in ethics enforcement. The proposals include a citizen advisory committee to advise the committees of Congress on citizen reaction to ethical complaints, as well as an “independent” ethics panel, made up of non-Members, which would actually be empowered to receive and subpoena evidence, take testimony under oath, and make disciplinary recommendations concerning complaints of ethical conduct of Members of the House or the Senate.

The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress held two hearings on the ethics process on February 23 and 25, 1993. The committee received testimony from the former leadership of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, a former Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, four other Members of Congress, and four academic experts.

Most witnesses who testified believed that ethics reform should be a priority for the committee, but there were differing opinions of what constituted reform. The most discussed reform was including non-Members as a part of the process. Other changes proposed ranged from updating the Senate ethics manual, mandating ethics training for Members and staff, utilizing the same set of ethical standards in both Chambers, and streamlining the steps of an ethics investigation.

The House of Representatives has a bifurcated ethics process, in which the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct divides into two subcommittees to handle the preliminary inquiry and adjudicative functions, and the whole committee reassembles to recommend punishment.   (1)The first step in this process is determining whether the complaint merits further inquiry.   (2)The following step is a preliminary inquiry to see if there is reason to believe a violation has occurred. If this violation was determined to have occurred,    (3)then the next step is proving these charges, and (Final) the final step is recommending punishment. This system is supposed to promote fairness to the accused by not having the same group act as grand jury, jury, and judge. A case has not yet been brought under the new House system.

The Senate follows a similar process, but the significant difference is that its system is not bifurcated.  (1)The first step is a preliminary inquiry to see whether there is enough evidence to merit an investigation. If there is sufficient evidence, (2) the second step is an initial inquiry — investigating the charges.  (3)The third step is the investigation, which includes hearings. The final two steps are proving the charges and recommending punishment, if necessary. Some witnesses wanted the Senate to move to a bifurcated process. Former Senator Warren Rudman stated, “. . . It is probably unfair to Members of the committee as well as to Members who are accused to have the matters investigated and then heard by the same Senators.”31

The Constitution gives Members of Congress the responsibility for disciplining their colleagues. While no witnesses advocated giving the entire responsibility to a group of outsiders, some wanted non-Members to be able to investigate charges and recommend punishment. Representative Robert Andrews, when testifying in favor of an external ethics commission, said, “Our system purports to conduct review of ethics by our peers, but I think we misdefine what it means to be a peer. Ultimately, our peers are not fellow Representatives or Senators, ultimately our peers are ordinary citizens.”32 Conversely, other witnesses wanted ethics proceedings to be conducted only by Members. As former Senator Warren Rudman testified, “I believe that the Constitution, when it says that we ought to be the judge of our own Members, means precisely what it says.”33 A former Chairman of the Standards of Official Conduct Committee, Representative Louis Stokes was “troubled by calls for further procedural reforms, which are based on the notion that the Ethics Committee has not done its job or has not done it properly.”34

The main reason for bringing in non-Members to the ethics process was summarized by Rutgers University professor Alan Rosenthal when he stated, “. . . . Members are reluctant to serve on such bodies, and have little incentive to pursue any type of ethics agenda. Second, Members who are pressed into service naturally are reluctant to punish colleagues with whom they have empathy and whose support they undoubtedly will need on one matter or another.”35 Numerous witnesses said that using outsiders would solve the problem of Members not having sufficient time to serve on the Ethics Committee.

One of the concerns of bringing in outsiders was typified when Representative Louis Stokes said, “Why would an outside group not accountable to other Members or to the voters do a better job of deciding hard cases or of convincing the public of the wisdom of their decisions?”36 Another concern is that outsiders may not understand the norms of Congress; there are “competing and often conflicting duties and obligations and roles that [m]Members play,”37 as former Counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee, John Saxon, noted. While some proposals for outside commissions call for using former Members who would understand the role of a Member, witnesses pointed out that they might be perceived as unable to objectively judge a former colleague.

Many of the witnesses wanted ethical standards to be detailed in an ethics manual. Senator Howell Heflin, former chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, suggested having “. . . . a continuing updating of the code of ethical conduct and that each one of the codes be annotated to the interpretative rulings that have been issued by the Ethics Committee”38 and Senator Trent Lott wanted “. . . . guidelines as to, ‘if you do this, or you don’t do this,’ then you may reach this standard of discredit or reflecting on the Senate.”39 While the House has the Office of Education and Advisory, which answers Members’ ethical questions, “one of the best things that we have come up with on the committee,”40 according to Representative James Hansen, former ranking Member of the House Standards Committee, there is not an equivalent body in the Senate. Although the staff of the Ethics Committee does answer questions of Senators and staff, it is not a formalized responsibility as it is in the House. Senator Heflin wanted “uniformity of rules and interpretation of those rules between the House and Senate.”41 There was agreement that there should be mandatory ethics training for both House and Senate Members and staff. Senator Trent Lott echoed many other witnesses’ concerns when he asked, “Shouldn’t we at least make sure that we know what the rules are and that our staff knows what the rules are?”42

Finally, there was a discussion of the length of the ethics process. While witnesses said that the rights of the accused must be protected by having a complete investigation, there was concern that the investigations take so long, and the accused has their “trial” in the media. Senator Richard Lugar said that in Senate proceedings, “. . . . the preliminary steps are so arduous and time consuming and expensive in terms of legal costs, as well as the press coverage of each of these” that the proceedings take the trappings of a trial.43There was discussion of streamlining steps in the Senate; in former Senator Warren Rudman’s view, it takes “two to three times as long as it should.”44 Representatives Stokes and Hansen argued that the procedures followed in the House were sound and the best possible for the accused; they did not think the process could be shortened.

1 See now 28 U.S. Code 501 et seq.
2 Note limited immunity for “Speech or Debate,” Article I, Section 6, discussed below, and footnote 9, infra.
3 Under the “independent counsel” provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 28 U.S. Code 591 et seq., which were allowed to expire on December 15, 1992, the Attorney General was authorized to request from a special three-judge panel the appointment of an “independent counsel” to investigate and prosecute allegations of criminal misconduct against specified government personnel, and against “any person,” including a Member of Congress, if there presented in the Attorney General’s opinion a “personal, financial or political conflict of interest” for Department of Justice personnel to prosecute the matter. 28 U.S. Code 592(c). In private disputes, Members may also be subject to private civil actions, litigated in Federal or State courts, for such private and personal conduct as breaches of contracts, torts, or the like.
4 Article I, Section 5, clause 1.
5 Article I, Section 5, clause 2.
6 Cushing, The Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies, Section 684, at 269 (Boston 1874).
7 Cushing, supra at Section 625, pp. 250-251. See Hiss v. Bartlett, 68 Mass. 468 (1855).
8 Note James Madison, The Federalist, at Nos. 47, 48, 51. See discussion in United States v. Brewster, 408 U.S. 501, 508 (1971).
9 United States v. Johnson, 383 U.S. 169, 178 (1966): “Behind these simple phrases lies a history of conflict between the Commons and the Tudor and Stuart monarchs during which successive monarchs utilized the criminal and civil law to suppress and intimidate critical legislators. Since the Glorious Revolution in Britain, and throughout United States history, the privilege has been recognized as an important protection of the independence and integrity of the legislature.” United States v. Brewster, 408 U.S. 501, 507: “The immunities of the Speech or Debate clause were not written into the Constitution simply for the personal or private benefit of Members of Congress, but to protect the integrity of the legislative process by insuring the independence of individual legislators.”
10 United States Constitution Article I, Section 6.
11 T. Erskine May, The Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament, 89, 102-108 (17th Edition 1964).
12 May, supra at 109-149; note May, supra at 103: “Where the offense is not so grave as to warrant the committal of the offender he is generally directed to be reprimanded or admonished by . . . . the Speaker.”
13 M. Ferrand, Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Volume 2, at 254.
14 Ibid. at 249-250; note Hamilton, The Federalist No. 60; see discussion in Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 535 (1969).
15 Note In re Chapman, 166 U.S. 661, 669-670 (1987), which supported the constitutional authority of either House of Congress to punish a Member for conduct which in the judgment of the body “is inconsistent with the trust and duty of a member” even if such conduct was “not a statutable offense nor was it committed in his official character, nor was it committed during the session of Congress, nor at the seat of government.”
16 “It may be thought difficult to draw a clear line of distinction between the right to inflict the punishment of expulsion, and any other punishment upon a Member, founded on the time, place, or nature of the offense. The power to expel a Member is not in the British House of Commons confined to offenses committed by a party as a member, or during the session of parliament; but it extends to all cases, where the offense is such, in the judgment of the house, unfits him for parliamentary duties.” Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Volume II, 836, Boston 1833 (De Capo Press Reprint Edition, 1970). Emphasis added.
17 S. Rpt. 2508, 83d Cong., 2d Sess. 20-21, 22 (1954), “Report of the Select Committee to Study Censure Charges”, pursuant to S. Res. 301 and amendments, a resolution to censure the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy.
18 H.R. Rpt. No. 27, 90th Congress, 1st Sess. 24 (1969). The Committee explained further: “Censure of a Member has been deemed appropriate in cases of the a breach of the privileges of the House. There are two classes of privilege, the one, affecting the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings; and the other, affecting the rights, reputation, and conduct of Members individually, in their representative capacity . . . . .” H.R. Rpt. 27, supra at 25.
19 See Executive order No. 12674, Part III, April 12, 1989; 5 CFR 2638.201 et seq. Note 5 U.S. Code 7513 for requirements of “adverse action” proceedings against covered civil service employees, including right to hearing and appeal.
20 Note Wathen v. United States, 527 F.2d 1191 (Ct. Claims 1975), rehearing den., January 30, 1976; Wild v. HUD, 692 F.2d 1129 (7th Cir. 1982), rehearing and rehearing en banc denied, January 26, 1983; see also discussions in Center for Auto Safety v. F.T.C., 586 F. Supp. 1254 (D.D.C. 1984); Grassetti v. Weinberger, 408 F. Supp. 142 (N.D.Cal. 1976); and CACI Inc.-Federal v. United States, 719 F.2d 1567 (Fed. Cir. 1983).
21 U.S. Code 372 (c).
22 Federal judges, like other “civil officers” of the United States Government are subject to removal by “impeachment” by the House and conviction by the Senate for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” United States Constitution, Article II, Section 4.
23 S. Rpt. No. 89-1414, 89th Cong. 2d Sess. 48 (1966), Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. Organization of Congress. Final report pursuant to S. Con. Res. 2.
24 H. Res. 1013, 89th Congress, October 19, 1966.
25 H.R. Rpt. No. 90-1176, 90th Cong., 2d Sess (1968).
26 Note Baker, Richard. The History of Congressional Ethics, in Representation and Responsibility, Exploring Legislative Ethics, at 4 (New York 1985): “For nearly two centuries, a simple and informal code of behavior existed. Prevailing norms of general decency served as the chief determinants of proper legislative conduct.”
27 See Powell v. McCormack, supra at 508, 509; note Judiciary Committee Report, H.R. Rpt. No. 77, 42d Congress, 3d Session; II Hinds Precedents 1283 and 1285. As expressed by Alexander Hamilton, a fundamental principle of our representative democracy is “that the people should choose whom they please to govern them.” 2 Eliot’s Debates 257; Powell v. McCormack supra at 531.
28 Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 57, supra at p. 350-351, 352: “The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who posses most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust . . . . The means relied on in this form of government for preventing their degeneracy are numerous and various. The most effectual one is such a limitation on the term of appointments as will maintain a proper responsibility to the people . . . . All these securities, however, would be found very insufficient without the restraint of frequent elections. Hence, in the fourth place, the House of Representatives is so constituted as to support in the members an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people.”
29 Cushing, The Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies, supra at p. 269; Section 625, pp. 250-251. In a report to the Senate in 1807, reproduced at II Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1264, p. 814 (1907), Senator John Quincy Adams unsuccessfully pressed for the expulsion of Senator John Smith, who was accused of complicity in the Aaron Burr conspiracy. Adams argued that since the Framers of the Constitution did not opt to include a “recall” provision in the Constitution, that the Senate itself must be ready to exercise its constitutional authority to cleanse itself, for its own institutional protection and for the protection of the nation. Adams argued that: “[D]efective indeed would be the institution which would be impotent to discard” an individual who, after election “on the pledge of a spotless reputation, has degraded himself by commission of infamous crimes, which become suddenly and unexpectedly revealed to the world.”
30 Bowman and Bowman, “article I, Section 5: Congress’ Power to Expel — An Exercise in Self Restraint,” 29 Syracuse Law Review 1071, 1101 (1978). The authors note that “Congress has demonstrated a clear reluctance to expel when to do so would impinge . . . . upon the electoral process.”
31 Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. Operations of the Congress Hearing. Jan. 28, 1993. p. 5.
32 Joint Committee. Ethics Process Hearing. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 33.
33 Joint Committee. Operations of the Congress Hearing. Jan. 28, 1993. p. 6.
34 Joint Committee. Ethics Process Hearing. Feb. 25, 1993. pp. 3-4.
35 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 26.
36 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 4.
37 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 36.
38 Ibid. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 6.
39 Ibid. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 17.
40 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 6.
41 Ibid. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 4.
42 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 19.
43 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 13.
44 Joint Committee. Operations of the Congress Hearing. Jan. 28, 1993. pp. 4-5.

Table of Contents

17th Amendment – United States Constitution – 1913 – The 17th Amendment went into effect. It provided for popular election of U.S. senators.

Written By: Brian Duignan

Seventeenth Amendment, amendment (1913) to the Constitution of the United States that provided for the direct electiThe Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.on of U.S. senators by the voters of the states.

It altered the electoral mechanism established in Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, which had provided for the appointment of senators by the state legislatures.

Adopted in the Progressive era of democratic political reform, the amendment reflected popular dissatisfaction with the corruption and inefficiency that had come to characterize the legislative election of U.S. senators in many states.

The amendment changed the wording of Article I, Section 3, Paragraph 1 to state that “two Senators from each State” should be “elected by the people thereof” rather than “chosen by the Legislature thereof.” It also revised Paragraph 2 of Section 3 to allow the state executive to fill vacancies in the Senate by making temporary appointments to serve until new elections could be held.

The full text of the amendment is

  • The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
  • When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
  • This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

By the time of the amendment’s adoption, many states had already established mechanisms that effectively allowed voters to choose the senators of their state (e.g., by having the legislature appoint the winners of party primaries). Nevertheless, the amendment was widely seen as necessary to reduce the influence of big business and other special interests on the selection of senators and to prevent vacancies or frequent turnover in the Senate caused by party wrangling or changes of party leadership at the state level. In the late 20th century some conservative political scholars called for the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment on the grounds that it undermined the proper balance of power between the federal government and the states (see also states’ rights).

5/31 1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that all states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.”

The opinion of the Supreme Court, May 31, 1955

In the Supreme Court of the United States

CITE AS 75 S.CT. 753 OLIVER BROWN, ET AL., appellants,

HARRY BRIGGS, JR., ET AL., appellants,

DOROTHY E. DAVIS, ET AL., appellants,


FRANCIS B. GEBHART, ET AL., petitioners,

NOS. 1–5.

Argued April 11, 12, 13, and 14, 1955.
Decided May 31. 1955.

349 U.S. 294

Class actions by which minor plaintiffs sought to obtain admission to public schools on a nonsegregated basis. On direct appeals by plaintiffs from adverse decisions in United States District Courts, District of Kansas, 98 F.Supp. 797, Eastern District of South Carolina, 103 F.Supp. 920, and Eastern District of Virginia, 103 F.Supp. 337, on certiorari before judgment on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from adverse decision in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and on certiorari from decision favorable to plaintiffs in the Supreme Court of Delaware, 91 A.2d 137, the Supreme Court, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873, and 347 U.S. 497, 74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884, held that racial discrimination in public education was unconstitutional and restored cases to docket for further argument regarding formulation of decrees. On further argument, the Supreme Court, Mr. Chief Justice Warren, held that in proceedings to implement Supreme Court’s determination, inferior courts might consider problems related to administration, arising from physical condition of school plant, school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve system of determining admission to public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations, and might consider adequacy of any plan school authorities might propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to racially nondiscriminatory school systems.

Judgments, except that in case No. 5, reversed and cases remanded with directions; judgment in case No. 5 affirmed and case remanded with directions.

All provisions of federal, state, or local law requiring or permitting racial discrimination in public education must yield to principle that such discrimination is unconstitutional. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend.

School authorities have primary responsibility for elucidating, assessing, and solving problems arising from fact that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional.

Question whether school authorities’ actions constitute good faith implementation of principle that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional could best be appraised by courts which originally heard cases raising questions of constitutionality of such discrimination, and it was appropriate to remand cases to such courts. 28 U.S.C.A.§§ 2281, 2284.

Traditionally, equity has been characterized by a practical flexibility in shaping its remedies and by a facility for adjusting and reconciling public and private needs.

Courts of equity, in implementing Supreme Court’s determination that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, may properly take into account the public interest in elimination, in a systematic and effective manner, of obstacles to transition to school systems operated in accordance with constitutional principles, but constitutional principles cannot be allowed to yield because of disagreement with them.On remand from Supreme Court after determination in several cases that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional. inferior courts should, while giving weight to public considerations and private interest of litigants, require that school authorities make prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance with ruling.

In proceedings to implement Supreme Court’s decision that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, public school authorities have burden of establishing that grant of additional time for transition is necessary in public interest and is consistent with good faith compliance at earliest practicable date.

Inferior courts, in implementing Supreme Court’s determination that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, may consider problems related to administration, arising from physical condition of school plant, school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve system of determining admission to public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations, and many consider adequacy of any plans school authorities may propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to racially nondiscriminatory school system.

Inferior courts, on remand from Supreme Court’s determination that discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, were directed to retain jurisdiction of cases during period of transition to nondiscriminatory school systems.

Mr. Robert L. Carter, New York City, for appellants in No. 1.

Mr. Harold R. Fatzer, Topeka, Kan., for appellees in No. 1.

Messrs. Thurgood Marshall, New York City, and Spottswood W. Robinson, III, Richmond, VA., for appellants in Nos. 2 and 3.

Messrs. S. E. Rogers, Summerton, S. C., and Robert McC. Figg, Jr., Charleston, S.C., for appellees in No. 2.

Messrs. Archibald G. Robertson, Richmond, Va., and J. Lindsay Almond, Jr., Atty. Gen., for appellees in No. 3.

Messrs. George E. C. Hayes and James M. Nabrit, Jr., Washington, D.C., for petitioners in No. 4.

Mr. Milton D. Korman, Washington, D.C., for respondents in No. 4.

Mr. Joseph Donald Craven, Wilmington, Del., for petitioners in No. 5.

Mr. Louis L. Redding, Wilmington. Del., for respondents in No. 5.

Messrs. Richard W. Ervin and Ralph E. Odum, Tallahassee, Fla., for State of Florida, I. Beverly Lake, Raleigh, N.C., for State of North Carolina, Thomas J. Gentry, Little Rock, Ark., for State of Arkansas, Mac Q. Williamson Oklahoma, City, Okla., for State of Oklahoma, C. Ferdinand Sybert, Ellicott City, Md., for State of Maryland, John Ben Shepperd and Burnell Waldrep, Austin, Tex., for State of Texas, Sol. Gen. Simon E. Sobeloff, Washington, D.C., for United States, amici curiae.

Mr. Chief Justice Warren delivered the opinion of the Court.

[1] These cases were decided on May 17, 1954. The opinions of that date,1 declaring the fundamental principle that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, are incorporated herein by reference. All provisions of federal, state, or local law requiring or permitting such discrimination must yield to this principle. There remains for consideration the manner in which relief is to be accorded.

1 347 U.S. 43, 74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873, 347 U.S. 497, 74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884.

2 Further argument was requested on the following questions, 347 U.S. 483, 495–496, note 13, 74 S.Ct. 686, 692, 98 L.Ed. 873, previously propounded by the Court:

“4. Assuming it is decided that segregation in public schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment

“(awould a decree necessarily follow providing that, within the limits set by normal geographic school districting, Negro children should forthwith be admitted to schools of their choice, or

“(bmay this Court, in the exercise of its equity powers, permit an effective gradual adjustment to be brought about from existing segregated systems to a system not based color distinctions?

“5. On the assumption on which questions 4 (aand (bare based, and assuming further that this Court will exercise its equity powers to the end described in question 4 (b),

“(ashould this Court formulate detailed decrees in these cases;

“(b) if so, what specific issues should the decrees;

“(cshould this Court appoint a special master to hear evidence with a view to recommending specific terms for such decrees;

“(dshould this Court remand to the courts of first instance with directions to frame decrees in these cases, and if so what general directions should the decrees of this Court include and what procedures should the courts of first instance follow in arriving at the specific terms of more detailed decrees?”

Because these cases arose under different local conditions and their disposition will involve a variety of local problems, we requested further argument on the question of relief.2 In view of the nationwide importance of the decision. we invited the Attorney General of the United States and the Attorneys General of all states requiring or permitting racial discrimination in public education to present their views on that question. The parties, the United States, and the States of Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Texas filed briefs and participated in the oral argument.

These presentations were informative and helpful to the Court in its consideration of the complexities arising from the transition to a system of public education freed of racial discrimination. The presentations also demonstrated that substantial steps to eliminate racial discrimination in public schools have already been taken, not only in some of the communities in which these cases arose, but in some of the states appearing as amici curiaeand in other states as well. Substantial progress has been made in the District of Columbia and in the communities in Kansas and Delaware involved in this litigation. The defendants in the cases coming to us from South Carolina and Virginia are awaiting the decisions of this Court concerning relief.

[2,3] Full implementation of these constitutional principles may require solution of varied local school problems. School authorities have the primary responsibility of elucidating, assessing, and solving these problems; courts will have to consider whether the action of school authorities constitutes good faith implementation of the governing constitutional principles. Because of their proximity to local conditions and the possible need for further hearings, the courts which originally heard these cases can best perform this judicial appraisal. Accordingly, we believe it appropriate to remand the cases to those courts.3

[4,5] In fashioning and effectuating the decrees, the courts will be guided by equitable principles. Traditionally, equity has been characterized by a practical flexibility in shaping its remedies4 and by a facility for adjusting and reconciling public and private needs.5 These cases call for the exercise of these traditional attributes of equity power. At stake is the personal interest of the plaintiffs in admission to public schools as soon as practicable on a nondiscriminatory basis. To effectuate this interest may call for elimination of a variety of obstacles in marking the transition to school systems operated in accordance with the constitutional principles set forth in our May 17, 1954, decision. Courts of equity may properly take into account the public interest in the elimination of such obstacles in a systematic and effective manner. But it should go without saying that the vitality of these constitutional principles cannot be allowed to yield simply because of disagreement with them.

[6–9] While giving weight to these public and private considerations, the courts will require that the defendants make a prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance with our May 17, 1954, ruling. Once such a start has been made, the courts may find that additional time is necessary to carry out the ruling in an effective manner. The burden rests upon the defendants to establish that such time is necessary in the public interest and is consistent with good faith compliance at the earliest practicable date. To that end, the courts may consider problems related to administration, arising from the physical condition of the school plant, the school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations which may be necessary in solving the foregoing problems. They will also consider the adequacy of any plans the defendants may propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to a racially nondiscriminatory school system. During this period of transition, the courts will retain jurisdiction of these cases.

3 The cases coming to us from Kansas, South Carolina, and Virginia were originally heard by three-judge District Courts convened under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2281 and 2284, 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 2281, 2284. These cases will accordingly be remanded to those three-judge courts. See Briggs v. Elliott342 U.S. 350, 72 S.Ct. 327, 96 L.Ed. 392.

4 See Alexander v. Hillman296 U.S. 222, 239, 56 S.Ct. 204, 209, 80 L.Ed. 192.

5 See Hecht Co, v, Bowles321 U.S. 321, 329–330, 64 S.Ct. 587, 591, 592, 88 L.Ed. 754.

The judgments below, except that in the Delaware case, are accordingly reversed and the cases are remanded to the District Courts to take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with this opinion as are necessary and proper to admit to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed the parties to these cases. The judgment in the Delaware case—ordering the immediate admission of the plaintiffs to schools previously attended only by white children—is affirmed on the basis of the principles stated in our May 17, 1954, opinion, but the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Delaware for such further proceedings as that Court may deem necessary in light of this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Judgments, except that in case No. 5, reversed and cases remanded with directions; judgment in case No. 5 affirmed and case remanded with directions.


1854- Kansas-Nebraska Act

The Kansas-Nebraska Act"Bloody Kansas"

Stephen Douglas, the sponsor of the Kansas-Nebraska Act as well as the most vocal supporter of popular sovereignty, was known as the “Little Giant” because of his small stature.

Stephen Douglas
The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 may have been the single most significant event leading to the Civil War. By the early 1850s settlers and entrepreneurs wanted to move into the area now known as Nebraska. However, until the area was organized as a territory, settlers would not move there because they could not legally hold a claim on the land. The southern states’ representatives in Congress were in no hurry to permit a Nebraska territory because the land lay north of the 36°30′ parallel — where slavery had been outlawed by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Just when things between the north and south were in an uneasy balance, Kansas and Nebraska opened fresh wounds.

The person behind the Kansas-Nebraska Act was Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.

Kansas-Nebraska Bill
The Kansas-Nebraska Act began a chain of events in the Kansas Territory that foreshadowed the Civil War.

He said he wanted to see Nebraska made into a territory and, to win southern support, proposed a southern state inclined to support slavery. It was Kansas. Underlying it all was his desire to build a transcontinental railroad to go through Chicago. The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed each territory to decide the issue of slavery on the basis of popular sovereignty. Kansas with slavery would violate the Missouri Compromise, which had kept the Union from falling apart for the last thirty-four years. The long-standing compromise would have to be repealed. Opposition was intense, but ultimately the bill passed in May of 1854. Territory north of the sacred 36°30′ line was now open to popular sovereignty. The North was outraged.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

The Kansas-Nebraska act made it possible for the Kansas and Nebraska territories (shown in orange) to open to slavery. The Missouri Compromise had prevented this from happening since 1820.

The political effects of Douglas’ bill were enormous. Passage of the bill irrevocably split the Whig Party, one of the two major political parties in the country at the time. Every northern Whig had opposed the bill; almost every southern Whig voted for it. With the emotional issue of slavery involved, there was no way a common ground could be found. Most of the southern Whigs soon were swept into the Democratic Party. Northern Whigs reorganized themselves with other non-slavery interests to become the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln. This left the Democratic Party as the sole remaining institution that crossed sectional lines. Animosity between the North and South was again on the rise. The North felt that if the Compromise of 1820 was ignored, the Compromise of 1850 could be ignored as well. Violations of the hated Fugitive Slave Law increased.

Trouble was indeed back with a vengeance.


FDA/USDA ~ May ~ Alerts & Safety ~ 2020

  • Apotex Corp is voluntarily recalling all lots of Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets, USP 500mg within expiry to retail level. Apotex was notified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) that one lot of Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets, USP was tested and showed results for N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) levels in excess of the Acceptable Daily Intake Limit (ADI) and recommended recall of the one tested lot. Apotex Corp has agreed to recall this lot, and out of an abundance of caution, the company is extending the recall to all lots of Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets in the US. Apotex stopped selling this product in the US in February 2019, and there remains only limited product on the market. To date, Apotex has not received any reports of adverse events related to use of the product.Risk Statement: NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on results from laboratory tests. NDMA is a known environmental contaminant and found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables.

    Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets, USP is a prescription oral product indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults and pediatric patients 10 years of age and older with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The affected Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets, USP can be identified by NDC numbers stated on the product label.


    Product Strength Pack Size NDC Number
    Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets, USP 500mg 100’s Bottle 60505-0260-1

    The affected Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets were distributed nationwide in the USA to Warehousing Chains. Apotex Corp. is in a process of notifying its affected direct account Wholesaler, Distributor, Chain Distribution and Warehousing Chains via mail (FedEx Standard Overnight) by mailing a recall notification letter and is arranging for return of all recalled product.

    Wholesalers, Distributors and Retailers should return the recalled product to the place of purchase. Anyone with an existing inventory of the product should quarantine the recalled lots immediately. Customers who purchased the impacted product directly from Apotex can call Inmar Rx Solutions at 1-888-985-9014 (option 1) (9:00am – 5:00-pm, EST Monday thru Friday), to arrange for their return.

    Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Apotex Corp. by phone at 1-800-706-5575 (8:30am – 5:00pm, EST Monday thru Friday) or email address UScustomerservice@Apotex.comConsumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.

  • Ramar Foods of Pittsburg, CA, is recalling its 14 ounce packages of Peekaboo branded Mint Chocolate Chip with Hidden Spinach Ice Cream product out of an abundance of caution because of the potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.The ice cream product being recalled was available for purchase at select Target stores in FL, GA, SC, and NC. Only thirty-three (33) containers of the ice cream product were purchased by consumers and the remaining containers have been removed from commerce. The ice cream affected comes in a 14 ounce, printed paper container with UPC# 8685400001, and a Best Before date of 10/08/2021 printed on the bottom.No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this product.The potential for contamination was discovered after internal routine testing by Ramar Foods revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in some packages of the ice cream.

    Production of the recalled product has been voluntarily suspended while we continue to work with FDA to investigate and take appropriate corrective measures.

    Consumers who purchased the Peekaboo branded Mint Chocolate Chip with Hidden Spinach with the

    Best Buy date of 10/08/2021 should not consume the product and will be offered a full refund.

    Consumers with questions, or who would like to request an immediate refund, may contact Ramar Foods. Consumer contact: 844-491-7869, M-F 8-5pm EST; ramarfoods5691@stericycle.com.

  • New Hoque and Sons, Inc. of Maspeth, NY is recalling Radhuni Curry Powder, contained in 400g plastic bottles, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.Radhuni Curry Powder was distributed in New York City, New York, including grocery stores in Jamaica, Jackson Heights, and the Bronx. The product was distributed to grocery stores between 4/17/2020 and 4/21/2020. They were then physically removed from the stores on 5/14/2020.The product is labeled “Radhuni Curry Powder”. The product is contained in 400g clear, plastic bottles, with an expiration date of 01/02/2022, which can be found printed on the side of the container.No illnesses have been reported to date.The recall was as the result of a routine sampling program by the FDA, which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria. The company has ceased the distribution of the contaminated products and has also physically removed the contaminated products from stores as FDA and New Hoque and Sons, Inc. continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.Consumers who have purchased Radhuni Curry Powder are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 718.391.0992 from Monday – Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST.
  • Acella Pharmaceuticals, LLC is voluntarily recalling a total of 13 lots of 30-mg, 60-mg and 90-mg NP Thyroid® (thyroid tablets, USP) to the consumer level. The products are being recalled because our testing has found these lots to be superpotent. The product may have up to 115.0% of the labeled amount of Liothyronine (T3).Risk Statement: Patients being treated for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), who receive superpotent NP Thyroid, may experience signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) which include, but are not limited to, weight loss, heat intolerance, fatigue, muscle weakness, hypertension, chest pain, rapid heart rate, or heart rhythm disturbances. Pregnant women who take superpotent NP Thyroid may also experience negative maternal and fetal outcomes including miscarriage and/or impairment to fetal development. Patients should talk to their healthcare professional before they stop taking their NP Thyroid medicine. To date, Acella has received two reports of adverse events known to be related to this recall.NP Thyroid (thyroid tablets, USP) is composed of levothyroxine and liothyronine, and used to treat hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). The products subject to recall are packed in 100-count bottles. See product images.To best identify the product, the NDC’s, Product Description, Lot Numbers and Expiration Dates are listed. These lots were distributed nationwide in the USA to Acella’s direct accounts.



    Lot #

    Exp. Date

    NP Thyroid 30 mg 42192-329-01 M329A19-1 20-Dec
    M329H18-1 20-Jul
    M329J18-1 20-Aug
    M329J18-2 20-Aug
    M329J18-3 20-Aug
    M329M18-2 20-Nov
    NP Thyroid 60 mg 42192-330-01 M330J18-2A 20-Aug
    M330J18-3 20-Aug
    NP Thyroid 90 mg 42192-331-01 M331G18-1 20-Jun
    M331J18-1 20-Aug
    M331J18-2 20-Aug
    M331M18-1 20-Nov
    M331M18-2 20-Nov

    Acella is proactively notifying its wholesalers by email and phone to discontinue distribution of the product being recalled and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Patients who are currently taking NP Thyroid from the lots being recalled should not discontinue use without contacting their healthcare provider for further guidance and/or a replacement prescription.

    Consumers with questions about the recall can email Acella Pharmaceuticals at recall@acellapharma.com or contact Acella Customer Service at 1-800-541-4802, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET and Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm ET. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.

  • Conagra Brands, Inc., Russellville, Ark. and Marshall, Mo. establishments, are recalling approximately 276,872 pounds of not ready-to-eat chicken and turkey bowl products because the products may contain extraneous material, specifically small rocks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

    The scope of this recall has been expanded to include Healthy Choice Power Bowls Chicken Feta & Farro Bowls, Healthy Choice Power Bowls Unwrapped Burrito Scramble Power Bowls, and Healthy Choice Power Bowls Turkey Sausage & Egg Scramble Power Bowls produced on various dates. The products were produced at two different establishments.

    The following additional products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

    • 9.5-oz cartons containing “Healthy Choice POWER BOWLS Chicken Feta & Farro” with lot code 5006006620 and best by date of DEC 01 2020. The product bears establishment number “P-115” on the side panel adjacent to the lot code.
    • 7.2-oz cartons containing “Heathy Choice POWER BOWLS Unwrapped Burrito Scramble” with UPC 7265500082, lot code 5009002920 and best if used by date of OCT 25 2020. The product bears establishment number “P9” on the side panel adjacent to the lot code.
    • 7.2-oz cartons containing “Healthy Choice POWER BOWLS Turkey Sausage & Egg White Scramble” with UPC 7265500081, lot code of 5009003020 and a best if used by date of OCT 26 2020 on the label. The product bears establishment number “P9” on the side panel adjacent to the lot code.
    • 204-gram cartons containing “Healthy Choice POWER BOWLS BOILS ÈNERGIE PETIT DÈJJEUNER TOUTE JOURNÈE Turkey Sausage & Egg White Scramble” with UPC 7265500202, lot code of 5009003020 and a best if used by date of OCT 26 2020 on the label. The product bears establishment number “EST P9” on the side panel adjacent to the lot code.
    • 204-gram cartons containing “Heathy Choice POWER BOWLS BOILS ÈNERGIE PETIT DÈJJEUNER TOUTE JOURNÈE Unwrapped Burrito Scramble” with UPC 7265500203, lot code 5009002920 and best if used by date of OCT 25 2020. The product bears establishment number “EST P9” on the side panel adjacent to the lot code.

    On April 10, 2020. Conagra Brands, Inc., recalled approximately 130,763 pounds of not ready-to-eat chicken bowl products produced on Jan. 23, 2020. The products bear establishment number “EST P115” inside the USDA Mark of inspection.

    • 9.5-oz. cartons containing “Healthy Choice POWER BOWLS Chicken Feta & Farro” with lot code 5006002320, UPC code 072655001800 and a best by date of 10/19/2020 on the label.
    • 9.5-oz. cartons containing “Healthy Choice POWER BOWLS Chicken Feta & Farro, BOILS ÈNERGIE Poulet feta et épeautre” with lot code 5006002320, UPC code 072655003026 and a best by date of 10/19/2020 on the label.

    These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide and exported to Canada.

    The problem was discovered when the firm received additional consumer complaints about rocks being in the products and the firm then notified FSIS of the issue.

     There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

    FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

    FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

    Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Conagra Brands Consumer Care at 1-800-672-8240 or at Consumer.Care@conagra.com. Members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Daniel Hare, Conagra Brands Senior Director of Communication, at (312) 549-5355.

  • Summitt Labs is voluntarily recalling Batch#730 Lot#K018 of KORE ORGANIC Watermelon CBD Oil Tincture, 30 ml bottle, 15mg 450x to the consumer level. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services tested a random sample and found the product to contain lead levels at 4.7 ppm. When informed of this, Summitt Labs issued an immediate voluntary recall and started an internal investigation. As part of this investigation Summitt Labs had a sample from Batch #730 Lot #K018 tested at an ISO/IEC accredited lab. Lead results were 500 ppb (.5ppm), which is within the legal limits as defined by the State of Florida. However, based on the test from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Summitt Labs initiated, and will complete, a full recall of Batch #730 Lot #K018 in full cooperation with the FDA and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.Summitt Labs is an inspected and licensed facility under the Florida Department of Food and Agriculture and Consumer Services to produce products containing CBD but the Federal Food and Drug Administration does not consider CBD to be a legal drug or dietary supplement.Ingestion of KORE ORGANIC Watermelon CBD Oil Batch #730 Lot #K018 containing lead could result in high lead exposure. According to the Florida Department of Health, acute lead poisoning could have signs and symptoms including but not limited to; Pain, Muscle Weakness, Paresthesia, Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation, Poor appetite, Weight Loss, Symptoms associated with encephalitis, Metallic taste in the mouth, Shock, Hemolysis, and Kidney Damage. To this date, Summitt Labs has not had a call, complaint or report of any adverse effect from the use of this product.The product labels states that benefits may include, Anxiety Relief, Pain Reduction, Mood Enhancer, Restful Sleep and may Alleviate Stress. The product is packaged in 30 milliliter bottles; which could come in 9 count displays in Kraft paper packaging. The affected Kore Organic Watermelon CBD Oil lots include Batch#730 Lot#K018. The Product can be identified by the Kore Organic Logo and Kraft Paper Packaging on the 30 milliliter bottle. The product was distributed nationwide by Wholesalers (I.E. Nirvana Kulture and North East Rally), Samples by Sales Personnel, Tradeshow Samples, and by Summitt Labs.Summitt Labs is notifying its distributors and customers by email, phone, and personal visits to ensure the return of all recalled product. Consumers, distributors and retailers that have Kore Organic Watermelon CBD Oil Batch #730 Batch #K018, which is being recalled, should stop using the product.Any consumer with Lot #K018 Batch #730 in their possession are urged to contact Summitt Labs by phone at (833) 810-5673 Monday-Friday 8a.m. to 5p.m. EST, or through the website at http://www.Koreorganic.com. Any consumer with Lot #K018 Batch #730 should return this product to the place of purchase for a full monetary refund. If that is denied, please contact Summitt Labs at the above number for refund information and any other information regarding this recall. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product. Media with any questions about this recall should contact Christopher Cardamone, Esq. at (813) 842-7266 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5p.m. EST.
  •  Ideal Foods, a North Las Vegas, Nev. establishment, is recalling approximately 3,302 pounds of meat and poultry flatbread pizza products that were produced, packed and distributed without the benefit of federal inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

    The flatbread pizza products made with meat and poultry items were produced on various dates from October 2019 to April 2020. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

    • 13.5-oz. plastic-wrapped cardboard trays containing “culinevo Artisan Style Flatbread Pizza CARNE ASADA”.
    • 13-oz. plastic-wrapped cardboard trays containing “culinevo Artisan Style Flatbread Pizza CHICKEN SPINACH ARTICHOKE”.
    • 16.5-oz. plastic-wrapped cardboard trays containing “culinevo Artisan Style Flatbread Pizza SIZZLIN JALAPEÑO”.
    • 14.5-oz. plastic-wrapped cardboard trays containing “culinevo Artisan Style Flatbread Pizza MEAT LOVERS”.

    The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 45351A” or “P-45351A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to a distributor and retail locations in California.

    The problem was discovered during routine FSIS surveillance activities, which determined that the firm produced the products without the benefit of inspection.

    There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

    FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

    FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

    Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact John Hagen, Chief Financial Operations Officer, Ideal Foods, at (702) 647-3663.

  • ICU Medical, Inc. is voluntarily recalling one single lot of Lactated Ringer’s Injection, USP. The products are being recalled to the hospital/user level due to the presence of particulate matter identified as iron oxide. ICU Medical became aware of this issue through a single customer complaint.Administration of a drug product that contains metal particulate matter could result in adverse events ranging from inflammation at the site of injection to more serious events that could include the formation of a blood clot obstructing the flow of blood which could lead to end-organ damage or death. To date, ICU Medical, Inc. has not received reports of adverse events related to this recall.Lactated Ringer’s Injection, USP is indicated for parenteral replacement of extracellular losses of fluid and electrolytes, with or without minimal carbohydrate calories, as required by the clinical condition of the patient. Product was distributed nationwide both by ICU Medical direct to customers and through medical distributors. The product is for human and veterinary use.The affected product lot, manufactured in the U.S. for ICU Medical by Hospira, a Pfizer company in July 2019 is listed below:

    NDC Number

    Product Description

    Lot Number

    Expiration Date




    0409-7953-09 Lactated
    Injection, USP
    07-514-FW 01-Jul-2021 1000 mL Flexible
    July 2019 September 2019
    – October 2019

    ICU Medical is notifying its distributors and customers of this recall by letter and is arranging for the return of all recalled products. Hospitals/distributors that have product that is being recalled should stop use/further distribution and return to place of purchase.

    Customers with questions regarding this recall can call ICU Medical at 1-844-654-7780 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central time. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using these drug products.

    Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

    • Complete and submit the report Online
    • Regular Mail or Fax: Download form or call 1- 800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178
    • The Center for Veterinary Medicine recommends calling the drug company to report the adverse drug experience or product defect. The drug company responsible for the approved product(s) is required to submit reports of adverse drug experiences and product defects to FDA.
    • If you prefer to report directly to the FDA, you can submit FORM FDA 1932a,
    • “Veterinary Adverse Experience, Lack of Effectiveness or Product Defect Report”. You can use this form to report adverse drug experiences for any animal drug (approved or not approved by FDA) or animal device. Unapproved animal drugs include compounded drug products.
    • Download the fillable 1932a electronic form and email the completed form to CVM1932a@fda.hhs.gov
    • If you have a question about ADE reporting or need a hard copy of the form, contact CVM by email at AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov, by phone at 1-888-FDA-VETS (1-888-332-8387)
  • Out of abundance of caution, and in line with its commitment to consumer satisfaction and safety, Becca Cosmetics is voluntarily recalling all shades of its Light Shifter Brightening Concealer because a brownish-black material identified as a common household mold was found on the sponge-tip applicator of some units. While this is unlikely to cause serious injury there is a potential risk of temporary skin and/or eye allergy and irritation. To date, no adverse reactions or injuries have been reported.This product was manufactured in the United States and distributed nationwide.The below table provides details of the product affected by this recall. No other Becca Cosmetics products are affected by this issue.
    Product Name Batch Size Product Description UPC
    Becca Cosmetics
    Light Shifter Brightening Concealer
    3.2 mL (only size available) Concealer wand with silver overlay, and a white secondary carton 9331137030037

    If you have this product, please stop using it and contact the place of purchase regarding a refund.

    This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    Company Contact Information

    Justine Dunton-Rose