The US Senate resolution censuring McCarthy (1954)

In 1954 members of the US Senate initiated action to censure Joseph McCarthy for his actions. This resolution was passed on December 2nd of that year:


That the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr McCarthy, failed to cooperate with the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in clearing up matters… which concerned his conduct as a Senator and affected the honour of the Senate;

…and, instead, repeatedly abused the subcommittee and its members who were trying to carry out assigned duties, thereby obstructing the constitutional processes of the Senate;

…and that this conduct of the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr McCarthy, is contrary to senatorial traditions and is hereby condemned.

…The Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, in writing to the chairman of the Select Committee to Study Censure Charges (Mr. Watkins) after the Select Committee had issued its report and before the report was presented to the Senate charging three members of the Select Committee with “deliberate deception” and “fraud” for failure to disqualify themselves;

…in stating to the press on November 4th 1954 that the special Senate session that was to begin November 8th 1954, was a “lynch party”;

…in repeatedly describing this special Senate session as a “lynch bee” in a nationwide television and radio show on November 7th 1954;

…in stating to the public press onMrvember 13th 1954 that the chairman of the Select Committee (Mr. Watkins) was guilty of “the most unusual, most cowardly things I’ve ever heard of” and stating further: “I expected he would be afraid to answer the questions, but didn’t think he’d be stupid enough to make a public statement”;

…and in characterising the said committee as the “unwitting handmaiden,” “involuntary agent” and “attorneys-in-fact” of the Communist Party;

…and in charging that the said committee in writing its report “imitated Communist methods”, “that it distorted, misrepresented and omitted in its effort to manufacture a plausible rationalisation” in support of its recommendations to the Senate…;

…acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonour and disrepute, to obstruct the constitutional processes of the Senate, and to impair its dignity; and such conduct is hereby condemned.”