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EDITORS' NOTE: Early in the Senate debate, Senator Case (R., N.J.) made the following statement concerning the composition and powers of the Equal Employment Commission.
generally recruited on a local basis and that the number of employees of the Civil Rights Commission listed under title V represents the number of new employees expected to be hired if title V is enacted.
An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made up of five members appointed for staggered 5-year terms by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, would be created to administer the law. No more than three members of the Commission would be
members of the same political party— section 706(a). The Commission would be empowered to receive and investigate charges of discrimination, and to attempt through conciliation and persuasion to resolve disputes involving such charges— section 707. The Commission will have no power to issue enforcement orders. Enforcement will be left to the courts. The experience of the State and local commissions indicates that much may be accomplished in achieving fair employment opportunities through the wise and imaginative exercise of persuasion, mediation, and conciliation.
Enforcement and Administration:
EDITORS' NOTE: Congressman Celler (D., N.Y.) offered a perfecting amendment to make clear that the EEOC is required to attempt to obtain voluntary compliance with Title VII before instituting legal action. The amendment was adopted by a voice vote.
pp. 2566, 2567
Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. CELLER: On page 75, beginning at line 8, strike out "or in advance thereof if circumstances warrant,".
Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, the language is stricken out to make certain that there will be a resort by the Commission to conciliatory efforts before it resorts to a court for enforcement. For this reason I ask that the amendment be adopted.
Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CELLER. I yield to the gentle
Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, the members on the minority side on the Committee on the Judiciary are in accord with the amendment.
Mr. POFF. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike out the last word.
Mr. Chairman, I understood my chairman, the gentleman from New York Mr. CELLER] to say that the language was just surplusage. Is that exactly what the gentleman intended to say?
Mr. O'HARA of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield to me?
Mr. POFF. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
Mr. O'HARA of Michigan. I have worked with the chairman on this amendment. The words "or in advance thereof if circumstances warrant" simply meant to convey the fact that if conciliation turned out to be impossible after it had been tried the Commission could then file suit in the district court.
However, there were some who believed that perhaps that language, as it stood, would authorize bringing the action in court before any attempt had been made to conciliate. We thought that striking the language would make it clear that an attempt would have to be made to conciliate in accordance with the language on lines 21 through 25 of the previous page, before an action could be brought in the district court.
Mr. POFF. I thank the gentleman. Of course, that is a proper response to the question which I posed.
This language is more than surplusage. Indeed, I drafted an amendment to delete this language myself. I would not have drafted it if I considered it only surplusage.
I say parenthetically, because I drafted a similar amendment, I am glad to join the gentleman in support of the amendment.
Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. POFF. I am glad to yield to the gentleman from Florida.
Mr. CRAMER. In view of the manner in which the bill is being considered for amendments, with no other opportunity for discussion of the case, I should like to take this opportunity to ask the distinguished gentleman from California
Obviously the point involved is judicial review, something which I believe the gentleman has supported many times and which he has urged upon us. We seek to give the person who has been ruled out an opportunity for a judicial review. All we seek to do is to protect his right to obtain that judicial review.
But we did not want to do it without a reasonable ground for doing so. We did not wish to flood the courts. We did not wish to have a person come in on some rather flimsy case. Therefore, we provided that at least one member who heard the case, a responsible member, should say, "Well, there is a reasonable cause, so I am perfectly willing that he be given the opportunity to go into co t."
Mr. GOODELL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield further on that point?
Mr. POFF. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
Mr. GOODELL. I only add to the comment of the gentleman from Florida that we felt it should require a unanimous Commission to deny to a citizen the right to go into court and sue in his own behalf at his own expense.
Putting it the other way, if a unanimous ruling of the Commission was that there was no ground at all, then the person could not sue in court. Otherwise the citizen would be free to go into court on his own, with no assistance from the Commission, to try to prove his
Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield for a question?
Mr. POFF. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.
Mr. CRAMER. Then, in effect, this is not to be a review of the decision of the Commission, but is to be a trial de novo by the individual.
The individual, however, could only get the trial if a commissioner permitted him to do so.
Ordinarily, as is provided in previous titles, such as with respect to withholding of funds in title VI, a person is automatically entitled to bring a case for review if he feels he is aggrieved, without permission from anybody and without limitation. Why should the person be limited by the Commission in the bringing of an action?
Mr. GOODELL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. POFF. I yield to the gentleman (
from New York.
Mr. GOODELL. This technically is not a judicial review. A person has a right to sue in court on his own. If & commission makes a ruling it is not a ruling that is a final decision that can be appealed to a court. The Commission would merely make a decision to take the case to court and to try to prove it. If the Commission did not believe there were sufficient facts to justify the taking of the case to court, then one Commissioner could authorize the individual to take the case to court himself.
Mr. MAHON. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to extend my remarks at this point in the RECORD.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas?
There was no objection.
Mr. MAHON. Mr. Chairman, I shall not discuss the pending amendment. I want to discuss the broader aspects of the bill.
Members of the Judiciary Committee who favor or who oppose the pending civil rights bill have claimed the major portion of the time in debate. This is understandable. inasmuch as the bill originated in the Judiciary Committee and the hearings were held there.
I have supported many of the amendments designed to improve the bill, which have been offered. Almost without exception these amendments have been defeated, and usually by about the same margin of votes. It has been obvious for several days that a majority of the Members of the House will not join in adopting major amendments to the bill!
and that, generally speaking, amendments offered to the bill will be routinely defeated.
Under these circumstances, I realize that words are somewhat futile, but I want the RECORD to show my opposition to the pending measure.
American freedoms, and, if the pending bill becomes the law, I predict that it will rise to plague many of those who support it. Americans of all races and creeds simply do not like harassment and unnecessary regimentation. They realize that law is necessary, but they also realize that some of the problems to which the bill addresses itself simply cannot be dealt with successfully through legislation.
I make no attempt to go into a detailed discussion. The details of the measure have been well discussed. A majority of the House has simply been unwilling to modify and ameliorate the measure and make it more acceptable. The measure goes too far. If enacted into law, it will tend to defeat its avowed purpose.
I abhor discrimination and injustice. I believe in fairness and equality under the law for all our citizens, regardless of race and creed. I am pleased that progress has been made and is being made in the field of human relations, but the pending measure goes entirely too far. It gives the Federal Government too much power to meddle in the day-to-day lives of American citizens— all American citizens. It threatens basic
Individual initiative and individual responsibility will continue to be the key elements in the promotion of a strong and free democratic society. I wish to register my opposition to any attempt to tamper with our basic individual freedoms.
I shall continue to vote for perfecting amendments and I shall continue to oppose the pending bill in its present form.
The CHAIRMAN Mr. PRICE). The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York [Mr. CELLER].
The amendment was agreed to.