Sabath, Adolf Joachim

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SABATH, ADOLF JOACHIM (1866–1952), U.S. congressman. Sabath, who was born in Zabori, Bohemia, went to the U.S. at the age of 15 and settled in Chicago. He subsequently began practicing law in 1893 and became a justice of the peace in 1895. As a police magistrate from 1897 to 1907, Sabath was instrumental in the abolition of the fee system, the establishment of the juvenile court, and the implementation of a parole system. Elected to the U.S. Congress as a Democrat from Chicago's Fifth District in 1906, Sabath served in the House for 23 consecutive terms until his death, the second longest continuous service of any congressman. Representing a reform-minded immigrant constituency, he was a vigorous liberal who used his seniority and influence fully on behalf of New Deal and Fair Deal legislation.

In contrast to the prevailing climate of opinion during the 1930s, Sabath was a strong supporter of military preparedness and subsequently voted for the Lend-Lease Act. Sabath unsuccessfully sought the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which he considered detrimental to civil liberties in the U.S. From 1939 to 1947, and from 1949 to 1952, he was chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee.