Congressional Ethics and Constitutent Advocacy in an Age of Mistrust

Like lawyer-bashing, Congress-bashing seems never to go out of style. As every newspaper reader knows, and as public opinion surveys confinn, the public’s regard for the legislative branch has been discouragingly low for years. One of the incidents that has done most to fuel this mood is the Keating Five affair. The Senate Ethics Committee’s decision in the Keating case, which has been called “the ultimate metaphor for political corruption,” provides a fitting prologue for this article’s theme: the ethical dimensions of intervention by members of Congress into administrative agency proceedings.