Censure is a less severe form of discipline than expulsion. Since 1789 the Senate has censured only nine members.
Source: US Senate
January 2, 1811.
Timothy Pickering (F-MA).
Charge: Reading confidential documents in open Senate session before an injunction of secrecy was removed.
Result: Censured. Failed reelection (elected to the House in 1812).
May 10, 1844
Benjamin Tappan (D-OH)
Charge: Releasing to the New York Evening Post a copy of President John Tyler's message to the Senate of April 22, 1844 regarding the treaty of annexation between the United States and the Republic of Texas.
Result: Censured. Did not run for reelection.
February 28, 1902
Benjamin R. Tillman (D-SC) and John L. McLaurin (D-SC)
Charge: Fighting in the Senate chamber on February 22, 1902.
Result: Each was censured and suspended, retroactively, for six days. This incident led to the adoption of Rule XIX governing the conduct of debate in the chamber. Tillman -- reelected; McLaurin -- did not run for reelection.
Vote: 54-12; 22 not voting
November 4, 1929
Hiram Bingham (R-CT)
Charge: Employing as a Senate staff member Charles Eyanson, who was simultaneously employed by the Manufacturers Association of Connecticut. Eyanson was hired to assist Bingham on tariff legislation. The issue broadened into the question of the government employing dollar-a-year-men.
Result: "Condemned" for conduct tending "to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute." Defeated for reelection.
Vote: 54-22; 18 not voting
December 2, 1954
Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI)
Charge: Abuse and non-cooperation with the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections during a 1952 investigation of his conduct; for abuse of the Select Committee to Study Censure.
Result: He was "condemned." Died in office.
June 23, 1967
Thomas J. Dodd (D-CT)
Charge: Use of his office (1961-1965) to convert campaign funds to his personal benefit. Conduct unbecoming a senator.
Result: Censured. Defeated for reelection.
October 11, 1979
Herman E. Talmadge (D-GA)
Charge: Improper financial conduct (1973-1978), accepting reimbursements of $43,435.83 for official expenses not incurred, and improper reporting of campaign receipts and expenditures.
Result: His conduct was "denounced" as reprehensible and tending to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. Defeated for reelection.
July 25, 1990
David F. Durenberger (R-MN)
Charge: Unethical conduct "in connection with his arrangement with Piranha Press, his failure to report receipt of travel expenses in connection with his Piranha Press and Boston area appearances, his structuring of real estate transactions and receipt of Senate reimbursements in connection with his stays in his Minneapolis condominium, his pattern of prohibited communications respecting the condominium, his repeated acceptance of prohibited gifts of limousine service for personal purposes, and the conversion of a campaign contribution to his personal use."
Result: "Denounced" for reprehensible conduct, bringing the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. Did not run for reelection.