Page images
[ocr errors]

tion or modification at the whim of succeeding Executives. Any doubt about the validity of promulgating such far-reaching national policy by Presidential action not founded upon any statutory grant of authority would be removed.

The study of the undersigned of this problem at this stage would seem to indicate that the responsibility of providing equal treatment without regard to race or color with respect to Federal employment would properly be vested in the Civil Service Commission by appropriate amendment to the Civil Service Act.

Likewise, it would appear that the prevention of discrimination with respect to Federal Government contractors could appropriately be achieved by requiring them to enter into an enforceable undertaking and relying upon the body of law providing remedies for the violation of contracts for enforcement.

The undersigned had contemplated offering an amendment as a substitute for title VII, embodying these principles, but time limits for the filing of these views precluded completion of the study required to fashion appropriate legislative language to this end.

In the light of these circumstances and the relatively brief experience of the operation of the Presidentially-established Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, action in this field might wisely be postponed pending further experience in the operation of the Presidential Commission and further study of appropriate statutory provisions in this area.

Therefore, title VII should be deleted.


This title contemplates that the Bureau of the Census under the Secretary of Commerce will assemble statistics on registration of persons to vote and make a determination whether or not persons are excluded from registering and voting by reason of race, color, and national origin.

The objective of this title is identical with the amendment the undersigned proposes to offer to "Title I. Voting Rights," namely, to carry out the mandatory provisions of section 2 of the 14th amendment requiring the reduction of representation in the House of Representatives of those States where there is denial or abridgment of the right to vote.


The Bureau of the Census performs primarily ministerial and administrative functions and employs as census takers persons without special qualifications, such as legal training, for whom it would be difficult to make a determination which would be reliable that a person failed to register or to vote because of denial or abridgment, or simply because of indifference or some other reason.

It was for that reason that the undersigned suggested that the effective way to meet this problem was the establishment of a bipartisan congressional commission with factfinding powers to build a body of evidence and to report its recommendations and its calculations to the Congress which has the ultimate responsibility for carrying section 2 of the 14th amendment into execution. Since the commission is the more workable and effective instrumentality, title VIII should be deleted.


This title provides that an order remanding a civil rights case to the State court from which it was removed "shall be reviewable by appeal or otherwise." This title received only the most cursory consideration in the subcommittee and none at all in the full Judiciary Committee. Its ramifications are unknown.

By granting an appeal from a remand order of the Federal court in civil rights cases, but not in any other cases, it is possible that dilatory tactics and repeated appeals might frustrate the execution of State laws.

Until further study has marked out more precisely the effect of title IX, action by the Congress should be withheld.


Many States have statutes in the field of civil rights aimed at prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race or color. For example, 32 States have public accommodation laws.

Under the Nelson decision of the Supreme Court, it is entirely possible that the adoption of a broad omnibus civil rights bill by the Congress could be interpreted by the courts as preempting the field of civil rights for the Federal Government and, in consequence, all laws of States aimed at preventing or punishing discrimination would be held invalid.

In a limited way, in some of the titles of H.R. 7152 there is an attempt to preserve to individuals rights under State laws. In the opinion of the undersigned, these provisions are wholly inadequate to preserve the validity and force of State laws aimed at discrimination. Therefore, the undersigned proposes to offer an amendment to title X applicable to all the provisions of H.R. 7152 which would clearly announce that it is not the intent of Congress to preempt the field of civil rights and thus preserve the State statutes and municipal and other ordinances adopted or to be adopted in the field of civil rights, unless they are in direct conflict with Federal laws on the same subject.

The text of the amendment the undersigned will offer is as follows:

SEC. 1001. Nothing contained in any title of this Act shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to occupy the field in which such title operates, to the exclusion of any State laws on the same subject matter, nor shall any provision of this Act be construed as invalidating a provision of State law which would be valid in the absence of such Act, except to the extent that there is a direct and positive conflict between such provisions so that the two cannot be reconciled or consistently stand together. GEORGE MEADER.


In order for society to achieve stability and growth, the law provides for a balance between the rights of its citizens and the rights of the State. The balance in the United States today is being threatened with upset from both sides. The march toward stability and growth, justice and equality, in recent years has been slowed if not halted in the area of civil rights.

Enforced segregation has long deprived the Negro of rights and privileges, which in justice, are his. In the basic area of education, employment, housing, and voting, oppressive conditions have prevented him from exercising his full human rights. As a direct consequence of this segregation and as a result of his pent-up frustrations, violence has been engaged in by some Negro groups. This in turn, has occasioned counterviolence by white groups in both the North and South, who are bent upon resisting change.

In reacting to this growing violence, is the arm of the Government, both State and Federal, taking positions which either protect the "in-group" or go too far toward upsetting the "in-group." The result will be the strengthening of Government controls, and particularly Federal control vis-a-vis the right of individuals, Negroes and whites.

In some societies, these forces constantly contend back and forth, thereby creating upheaval and unrest. In a democratic society, such as ours, however, a buffer force stands in the middle, which is in a position to accede to the reasonable demands of the individual while tempering the demands for the power of Government. In the United States, this buffer is best represented by Congress, which acts as part of the Government, while maintaining a protective eye upon the interest of the public. For this reason, Congress must accept its primary responsibility for dealing with the major cause of the unrest in the country today-civil rights.

Congress has struggled with the problem for many years now and will undoubtedly continue to do so for many years to come. Pursuing the policy of balanced forward progress, Congress enacted civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960. Aside from meeting the challenge of the voter disenfranchisement, these acts created the Civil Rights Commission, reduced the threat of widespread violence, and accomplished other results. The fact that substantial gains did materialize under these acts and did remove many unjust burdens under which the Negro has so long labored, new aspirations and renewed hope began to attract increased support.

To meet these hopes and aspirations, a large number of Republicans in the House and Senate introduced legislation in the beginning of the 88th Congress, which provided for increased voting protection, school desegregation, equal employment opportunities, and many additional measures. On June 19, 1963, the President transmitted to the Congress his message on civil rights, asking for legislation, which resulted in the introduction of the administration's omnibus

civil rights bill, H.R. 7152. Considerable time could be directed to the irregular considerations of H.R. 7152 by the subcommittee and full committee. This is well documented in other views contained in this report; and due to the limitation of time, I will not comment specifically on this matter.

What I do wish to stress, however, is that the provisions of the substitute bill were never sufficiently debated either from a legal standpoint or from their social, economic, and political ramifications. The bill does contain features, in my mind, that properly meet the needs and demands of the Negro. Nevertheless, there are other provisions, which I believe usurp the rights of many citizens or which extend too great authority to the Federal Government. My fear, as expressed in the opening remarks, is that the inclusion of these overly forceful provisions will contribute to the upset in balance in our present-day society, which I believe Congress must guard against.

Our democracy is not perfect. Imperfections exist, but thankfully its virtues exceed those of any other system ever tried. As long as democracy gives to all its people the right to equal learning, the right to equal employment, the right to equal treatment, the right to equal justice, the right to adequate housing, and the right to vote, we will continue to solve the basic equality problems of our country.


Respect for these personal rights is not only a matter of individual moral duty, it is also a matter of civic action. My chief concern, a Member of Congress, and as a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, is to do what I possibly can to insure that these rights are acknowledged, respected, and coordinated with the rights of others and to correct any unjust discriminatory practices against any group or class. I believe it is also my responsibility in seeking lawful rights for any minority group in America to also respect the lawful rights of others.

Because of the manner in which this substitute was steamrollered through the full committee without debate, study, or explanation, I hope the House will give careful consideration to all its provisions and fully consider all amendments to the end that justice will prevail.

Member of Congress.


The right to be free from all forms of racial intolerance is so fundamentally the privilege of each and every citizen of the United States that it cannot be made the plaything of politics. The shame of our times, however, is that the subject of civil rights has from the early days of the 88th Congress been made the butt of political opportunism. It was only after public pressure began to mount, however, did the administration stir itself to fashioning a civil rights package. This game of lonemanship by the administration was further spotlighted when the subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee reported a bill which the committee chairman was forced to label the bill "drastic" irrespective of the fact that it was his bill. The fog of indecision and the quagmire of inaction became so great when the Judiciary Committee began to debate the subcommittee's bill, that the prospects for civil rights legislation faded to all but the vanishing point. Amendments were offered and withdrawn. Signals were called and then missed. Coalitions formed and then dissolved. Pleas of assistance were made and rejected. To rescue this hopeless mess, then, a motion was made to report the subcommittee bill to the House in an effort to salvage civil rights and to permit the Congress to work its will on this most needed subject. But, although majority support existed for this course of action, a "compromise" bill was sprung upon the committee from out of the night. Where it came from or who were its benefactors remains to this day a deep, dark secret. The bill reported was conceived in segregation, born in intolerance, and nurtured in discrimination.

As I have stated earlier, civil rights is the foremost issue of our times. But, to attempt to enact civil rights legislation in the heavy handed and politically motivated manner that is presently being attempted is a disservice to the democratic process and a disservice to all citizens who want and expect effective legislation in this Congress.

Member of Congress.



This legislation is being reported to the House without the benefit of any consideration, debate, or study of the bill by any subcommittee or committee of the House and without any member of any committee or subcommittee being granted an opportunity to offer amendments to the bill. This legislation is the most radical proposal in the field of civil rights ever recommended by any committee of the House or Senate. It was drawn in secret meetings held between certain members of this committee, the Attorney General and members of his

« PreviousContinue »