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104th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 104-367
JUDGE ISAAC C. PARKER FEDERAL BUILDING
November 28, 1995.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be
Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1804]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom
was referred the bill (H.R. 1804) to designate the United
States Post Office-Courthouse located at South 6th and Rogers
Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas, as the ``Judge Isaac C. Parker
Federal Building'', having considered the same, report
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill
Judge Parker is a legendary figure in Arkansas and the
surrounding states. As a soldier, a congressman, a lawyer, and
a judge, his accomplishments were many.
In 1875 after his retirement from Congress, President Grant
appointed him as Chief Justice of the Utah territory. However,
at the request of the President, Parker resigned to accept
appointment as Judge of the United States Court for the Western
District of Arkansas.
The Western District Court had fallen into disrepute
because of the actions of Parker's predecessor, Judge William
Story. Under threat of impeachment, Story departed, and the
President appointed Parker, asking him to ``stay a year or two
in Fort Smith and get things straightened out.''
Judge Parker's court had jurisdiction over the western half
of the State of Arkansas and over what is now the entire State
of Oklahoma--which was called the Indian territory.
When he assumed office, Judge Parker dedicated himself to
the reestablishment of the court as a power in the land. It was
a court of no vacations except for Sundays and Christmas.
Sessions often started at 7:30 in the morning, ran until noon,
then from 1:30 until 6:00 and occasionally sessions ran far
into the night.
The court calendar tells the story--during his service the
court disposed of a grant total of 13,500 cases, of which
12,000 were criminal. Of the 12,000 criminal charges, 8,600
resulted in convictions, either by jury trials or guilty pleas.
However, Judge Parker is best known for his reputation as
the ``hanging judge.'' Reportedly, he sentenced more men to the
gallows than any other jurist in United States history. His
nickname is particularly interesting in light of reports that
Parker himself did not believe in capital punishment. But he
did believe in the law, and is quoted as having said, ``I've
never hanged a man. it is the law that has done it.''
Off the bench, Judge Parker was known as a humorous and
friendly man. His colleagues said of him that he was one of the
finest men that ever lived, whose friendships were eternal, and
whose character was truly noble. He was devoted to his family
and respected by all as a man of incorruptible integrity. He
gave freely to charity and was intensely interested in
education, serving as president of the school board at Fort
Smith for several years.
The year that President Grant requested him to stay
stretched out to twenty-one, until his death in November 1896.
He had accomplished two goals of the President, as well as his
own. These goals were to restore respect to the court and the
law of the land, and to safeguard the citizens of his
jurisdiction from the lawlessness that often pervaded the
Judge Parker is buried in the National Cemetery in Forth
Smith, near the court that he had so faithfully served for over
Perhaps nothing illustrates the legacy of Judge Parker more
than the request of the citizens of Fort Smith, almost one
hundred years later, to name the Federal building in their city
in his honor.
Naming the United States Post Office and Courthouse in Fort
Smith, Arkansas would be a fitting tribute to this
compliance with rule xi
With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives:
(1) The Committee had held hearings on this legislation on
June 15, 1995.
(2) The requirements of section 308(a)(1) of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 are not applicable to this
legislation since it does not provide new budget authority or
new or increased tax expenditures.
(3) The Committee has received no report from the Committee
on Government Reform and Oversight of oversight findings and
recommendations arrived at under clause 4(C)(2) of rule X of
the rules of the House of Representatives.
(4) With respect to clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the
Rules of the House of Representatives and section 403 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, a cost estimate by the
Congressional Budget Office was received by the Committee. The
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, November 20, 1995.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of
Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
reviewed H.R. 1804, a bill to designate the United States post
office-courthouse located at South 6th and Rogers Avenue, Fort
Smith, Arkansas, as the ``Judge Isaac C. Parker Federal
Building.'' The bill was ordered reported by the House
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on November 16,
We estimate that enacting this bill would result in no
significant cost to the federal government and in no cost to
state or local governments. The bill would not affect direct
spending or receipts. Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is John R.
James L. Blum
(For June E. O'Neill, Director).
inflationary impact statement
Under (2)(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of
Representatives, the Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure estimates that enactment of H.R. 1804 will have
no significant inflationary impact on prices and costs in the
operation of the national economy.
cost of legislation
Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires a statement of the estimated cost to
the United States which will be incurred in carrying out H.R.
1804, as reported, in fiscal year 1996, and each of the
following 5 years. The implementation of this legislation is
not expected to result in any increased costs to the United
committee action and vote
In compliance with clause (2)(l)(2) (A) and (B) of rule XI
of the Rules of the House of Representatives, at a meeting of
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on November
16, 1995, a quorum being present, H.R. 1804 was unanimously
approved by a voice vote and ordered reported.