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its supporters state why it is so important. The omission in the majority report of summary statements on policies and practices which have led to this legislation is an unnecessary distillation of the report.

In these additional views we will point to the need for this civil rights bill. In so doing we are mindful that there are many areas of national concern entirely outside the scope of this legislation.

The bill is a comprehensive measure, but it cannot, nor should we expect it to, be a panacea for all our ills. It will not end racial turmoil. No legislation could do this. Nor can legislation relax all the tensions of our troubled times or wipe clean the blot of racial discrimination from out national conscience.

But this bill can and will commit our Nation to the elimination of many of the worst manifestations of racial prejudice. This is of paramount importance and is long overdue. The practice of American democracy must conform to the spirit which motivated the Founding Fathers of this Nation-the ideals of freedom, equality, justice, and opportunity. The entire Nation must meet this challenge, and it must do it now.


More than a hundred years have elapsed since the Negro has been freed from the bonds of slavery. Yet, to this day, the Negro continues to bear the burdens of a race under the traces of servitude. In employment, education, public service, amusement, housing, and citizenship, the Negro has faced the barrier or racial inequality. In other titles of this legislation, we have sought to fashion workable tools to correct this inequity. But perhaps no right is more essential to citizenship than the right to vote.

The secret ballot is the touchstone of representative government. Without it, no other benefit or achievement can be considered secure. This is not to imply that the grant of the franchise will automatically equalize job or other opportunities. But, the ability of the Negro to obtain material benefits and social and political advancement will long be retarded in those communities where he is dispossessed of the right to vote.

In over 250 counties in the United States, less than 15 percent of the voting-age Negroes are registered to vote. What is more shameful is the fact that in certain counties while the white population is exceeded by the number of white inhabitants who are registered, Negroes are either totally or all but totally denied the right to vote. The figures below from sample areas illustrate this problem:

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NOTE.-Since a number of other counties could illustrate the problem with equal force, the counties selected have been designated by letters of the alphabet.

Source: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; 1963 report.

In examining the economic, political, and social attainments of Negroes who live in voterless counties, the picture of present-day inequities is glaringly apparent. Educational achievement is pathetically low; jobs are allocated in discriminatory fashion; libraries, playgrounds, and other places of amusement are segregated or nonexistent for the Negroes; access to good restaurants, hotels, and other places of public accommodations are denied to Negroes; treatment of Negroes by police officials and other public servants is frequently hostile, if not brutal.

We do not maintain that these unsatisfactory conditions are laid directly at the door of vote denial. We do say that experience reveals that elected officials strive to aid and protect those who elect them. Strengthened measures to enfranchise the voterless Negro stand to benefit Negro and white together.

In 1957 and 1960 Congress enacted the first civil rights legislation since the Reconstruction era. The primary thrust of this legislation was to guarantee and enforce voting rights. The principal feature of the 1957 act authorized the Federal Government to bring civil injunctive suits to end discrimination in voting practices. The 1960 act permitted the appointing of Federal referees to speed up registration after a pattern or practice of discrimination had been found by a court. After 5 years of experience, it is clear that these statutes have not been sufficient to end wholesale voter discrimination in many areas. Part of this failure must be placed upon the Department of Justice. While recognizing that some 40 lawsuits have been instituted by the Department, success has been extremely limited. Some 13,000 additional Negroes have been placed on the rolls in Alabama and about 5,000 in Tennessee. But barely 2,000 in combined total have been added in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina; and during the same period, about 3,500 Negroes were eliminated from the voting rolls in Louisiana, while Mississippi and South Carolina each succeeded in disenfranchising 500 more Negroes than were registered. In 5 years, then, except for Tennessee, we are presented with the same picture of marginal Negro registration which we faced in 1957.

The entire blame cannot be placed on the Department of Justice. The cost of litigation is high. The nature of the judicial process permits recalcitrant State and county officials to promote delay

through the use of legal red tape on both the trial and appellate levels. The employment of involved registration techniques makes proof difficult and evidence hard to obtain. The appointment of a few judges whose public records demonstrate a lack of urgency has heightened the occasions for legal entanglement.

In spite of these factors, we do not believe that enough has been done in the field of voting rights. The Department rightly maintains that it takes thousands of man-hours to gather the evidence for each case. Yet, it only has about 20 lawyers assigned to voting cases in its Civil Rights Division as opposed to many times this number in other fields. We believe a greater effort should be made to request an increased appropriation for this Division. Meanwhile, the Department should create a task force to do the job. Attorneys must be loaned from other divisions and assigned to work with the Civil Rights Division until more permanent arrangements are made. Assistant U.S. attorneys in the affected districts should also be employed, together with such law students who might be attracted on a voluntary basis to participate in this program.

Certainly, the present situation is most unsatisfactory. Four counties in Florida have less than 3 percent Negroes of voting age registered. Yet, not one voting case has been instituted in the entire State of Florida. Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi have counties with no registered Negroes but which have not been faced with a suit. Similarly, North and South Carolina have disproportionately low Negro registration in some counties and, yet, suits have been brought in neither of these States.

New means are to be granted in title I to assist the Federal Government in franchising qualified Negroes. But a law without a will to enforce it is a subterfuge. The Department must eliminate the last vestiges of voter discrimination in every county in the country.

The primary method by which title I is intended to assist in voting cases is through the authority granted to the Attorney General to request a three-judge court to hear voting cases. The testimony before the Judiciary Committee substantiated the fact that certain district court judges have been less than enthusiastic in their enforcement of the 1957 and 1960 acts. Evidence was presented that 2 or more years have elapsed in some cases before a decision could be obtained. Many of these decisions must be considered less than victories. Single judges have in some instances refused to act in the face of convincing evidence. We don't wish to argue the merits of those cases here. But we do say that the test of appeal should be expedited. Appeals can and have been taken to the courts of appeals and Supreme Court, but the process is slow and the prolonged denial of constitutional rights is discouraging to those whom the law is supposed to protect.

The committee concluded then that a means should be created to overcome this impasse which, while fully protecting the rights of all parties involved, would speed up the process. The vehicle chosen was the three-judge district court which has been authorized for many forms of action under the Judicial Code since 1903. A three-judge court is composed of, at least, one circuit court judge and at least one district court judge who resides in the district where the action is commenced. The balance and broad range of views that three judges can bring to bear upon a voting case should assure fewer instances of

delay and a greater willingness to safeguard the individual's right to vote. In addition, the decisions of three-judge courts are appealable directly to the Supreme Court. By cutting down a layer of appeal, it is our hope that the time will not be long distant when the issue of voter discrimination is behind us.

Closely related to the delays in justice are the intricate methods employed by some State or county voting officials to defeat Negro registration. Among the devices most commonly employed are: (1) the application of more difficult literacy tests to Negroes than whites; (2) dilatory handling of Negro applications and failure to notify applicants of results; (3) employment of subjective character tests such as "good character"; and (4) applying more rigid standards of accuracy to Negroes than whites, thereby rejecting Negro applications for minor errors or omissions.

Testimony shows that Negroes will be given long and difficult parts of the Constitution to read, transcribe, and analyze, while whites will be assigned easy sections. Registrars have been known to aid white registrants but ignore the Negro applicant. Similarly, registrars will overlook minor misspelling errors or mistakes in age or length of residence of white applicants, while rejecting a Negro application for the same or more trivial reasons.

Here, then, is the crux of the problem. For the basic troubles come not from discriminatory laws, but (as the Civil Rights Commission so well expressed in its 1959 report, p. 133) "from the discriminatory application and administration of apparently nondiscriminatory laws."

It is for these reasons that the committee has amended the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts to provide that, in Federal elections. State registration officials must: (1) apply standards, practices, and procedures equally among individuals seeking to register to vote; (2) disregard minor errors or omissions if they are not material in determining whether an individual is qualified to vote; (3) administer literacy tests in writing. If properly enforced, these provisions could close many loopholes in existing laws.

Furthermore, this legislation would put an effective end to the discriminatory use of literacy tests in Federal elections. Where such tests would be used to determine an individual's qualifications to vote, there would be created a presumption that an individual who had completed the sixth grade of school and has not been judged an incompetent shall be presumed to be literate to vote in Federal elections. The literacy presumption, however, is made rebuttable in a court action.

There are those who maintain that the enactment of these provisions conflicts with article I, section 2 of the Constitution and the 17th amendment. Under these, the States are given the right to establish voter qualifications in congressional elections. Similarly, article II, section 1 places the qualifications of presidential electors under the State authority.

In the case of congressional elections, however, article I, section 4 authorizes Congress to regulate the time, place, or manner of holding elections. A review of historical authority reveals that it was intended by this section to extend broad authority to Congress to control the substantive and not merely the mechanical aspects of elections. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has long held that the right to vote

in Federal elections is derived directly from the Constitution of the United States and not through the State laws (U.S. v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299 (1941); Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651 (1884)).

Since the restrictions on State voting proceedings in the bill are limited to Federal elections, ample authority exists under section 4 to sustain these items in congressional elections.

In addition, the 15th amendment prohibits a State to deny a citizen the right to vote because of his race or color. State laws which attempt to do so are a direct infringement upon this amendment. (U.S. v. Raines, 362 U.S. 17 (1960)).

Aside from direct infringements, such as through legislative means, the amendment also prohibits contrivances by States or State officials to deny the equal voting rights of all citizens. "Sophisticated as well as simple-minded modes of discrimination" are forbidden, and the use of "onerous procedural requirements" which handicap the exercise of the franchise are also prohibited (Lane v. Wilson, 307 U.S. 268 (1939); Guinn v. U.S., 238 U.S. 347 (1915)).

Through the use of the 15th amendment, Congress is vested with the authority in section 2 to enact appropriate legislation to enforce the provisions of the amendment. Under standard constitutional interpretation, Congress has the power to enact necessary legislation to remove obstructions to the fulfillment of the intent and purposes of the amendment (James Everard Breweries, v. Day, 265 U.S. 545 (1924)). Since wide-ranging evidence has been produced before Congress and other executive agencies of Government that literacy tests and other State voter-qualification standards and procedures have been regularly used by some States to deny people the right to vote because of their race or color, Congress has the authority to eliminate such denials through legislative means. This, moreover, would not only cover congressional elections, but elections for presidential electors, and State elections. The fact that, in title I, Congress is limiting its action to Federal elections can only be interpreted to mean that it has not chosen to exercise its full authority in the field of voting at this time.

Under the "equal protection" clause of the 14th amendment, Congress also has the authority to enact the voting provision of title I. Actions by State registrars to use literacy tests and other qualification standards in a manner which disenfranchises Negroes, while the sanie tests and standards are applied to white citizens in a different and more lenient manner, constitutes a denial of equal protection (Davis v. Schnell, 81 F. Supp. 872 (S.D. Ala., 1949), aff'd 336 U.S. 933 (1949); Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958)). In this regard, Congress can, under section 5 of the 14th amendment, enforce the clause by appropriate legislation (Virginia v. Reves, 100 U.S. 313 (1879), Er parte Virginia, 100 U.S. 339 (1879)). Faced with the same findings of denial of voting rights to Negroes, as was indicated above, Congress may properly enact the provisions contained in title I.

Finally, article I, section 8 affords Congress wide scope to devise "necessary and proper" means for carrying out the purposes of the Constitution. Since the 14th amendment forbids disenfranchisement on racial grounds, and the 15th amendment commands equal protection of the laws, Congress can under this section fashion reasonable tools for protecting the constitutional rights of American citizens.

It is our hope that the enactment of these provisions and the threejudge court proposal will insure speedy and effective remedies for the ills of voter discrimination.

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