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Bob DrinanThe Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress$
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Raymond A. Schroth

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233045

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823233045.001.0001

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The Moral Architect

The Moral Architect

(p.213) 10 The Moral Architect
Bob Drinan

Raymond A. Schroth

S. J.

Fordham University Press

In the fall of 1973 Drinan sat down for a long interview with editor Alan Westin for the Civil Liberties Review. It was a friendly interview that focused on the work of the Judiciary Committee, and particularly on Subcommittee Three, which concerned itself with prison reform, capital punishment, the newsman's privilege, and repeal of the Emergency Detention Act of 1950, also known as preventive detention, whereby the executive branch had the power to round up and detain people without due process of law. Echoing his retreat notebook of 1968, in which he exclaimed that he had gone “13 years Without a Voice!” Drinan complained that he had come to Congress in 1970 not only for a “voice”—which he had had as a dean, speaker, and writer—but for a “vote.” He discovered, though, that the seniority system, controlled by conservative committee chairmen, prevented him from voting on issues that really mattered to him.

Keywords:   Father Robert Drinan, Jesuit priests, Congress, Alan Westin, Judiciary Committee

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