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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.
                   
              and of the NAACP Washington Bureau 1942 - 1978




 

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Synopses

Lion in the Lobby
Volumes I&II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V


Tables of Contents

Volumes I&II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V
 

Documents

Sample Documents I
Sample Documents II
Sample Documents III
Sample Docs III Cont..

Sample Documents IV

Sample Documents V

 
Background

Mitchell A Profile
Project Scope
Mitchell's Reports


 


Prof. Denton L. Watson

About Prof. Watson
About Us
Contact Us
Blog


 

 SEPTEMBER 8, 1960

CONGRESSIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS RECORD

OF PRESIDENTIAL AND

VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

 

All of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates have served in Congress and have had the opportunity to act on important civil rights issues. Their stands on fifty important issues as recorded by the Washington Bureau, NAACP, are reported herewith.

 

The Congressional service of these candidates (listed alphabetically) is as follows:

 

Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. JOHNSON:  Democrat, Texas, House of Representatives – elected to

80th Congress on April 10, 1937. Elected to Senate to 81st Congress on November 2, 1948. Served in Senate to date.

 

Senator John F. KENNEDY:  Democrat, Massachusetts, House of Representatives – elected to 80th Congress

on November 5, 1946. Elected to Senate to 83rd Congress on November 4, 1952. Served in Senate to date.

 

Ambassador Henry Cabot LODGE:  Republican, Massachusetts. Elected to Senate to 75th Congress on November 3,

1936.  Served until 1944. Resigned to enter Army. Re-elected to 80th Congress on November 1946. Served to January 1953.

 

Vice-President Richard M. NIXON:  Republican, California. House of Representatives – elected to 80th Congress

on November 5, 1946. Elected to Senate to 82nd Congress on November 7, 1950. Elected Vice-President on November 4, 1952. Served as Vice-President to date.

 

SENATE RECORD

 

Following is the civil rights voting record in the Senate on issues directly related to Civil Rights by Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, including pertinent procedural actions.

 

This record goes back to the 77th Congress (January 3, 1941, to December 16, 1942) and each issue is listed separately. If a candidate’s name does not appear under a specific issue it means (unless otherwise indicated) that he was not in Congress when that issue was acted on.

 

A copy of the voting record prepared by the Washington Bureau was furnished each of the candidates with a request for his comments. At the time of the preparation of this report (September 8) only Senator Kennedy had responded. His letter is set out herein.

 

In the event any of the other candidates respond prior to distribution of this report, the answers will be appended.

 

86th Congress

 

The Civil Rights Bill of 1960

 

The Civil Rights Bill passed by Congress failed to meet the NAACP’s standard of a meaningful civil rights bill because the Congress failed to strengthen the “skeleton” bill by adding any significant amendments.[1]

 

In other sessions of previous Congresses, the fate of civil rights legislation of ten was determined by Senate votes on procedural matters. This was not so with respect to the Civil Rights Act of 1960, because both those who favored a strong bill and those who favored a weak bill were in agreement that some civil rights legislation would be enacted. Under these circumstances the votes on procedure under which the Senate brought the bill to the floor are not included in this report.

 

At the close of the 1st Session of the 86th Congress, Majority Leader Johnson and Minority Leader Dirksen announced that civil rights legislation would be considered by the Senate in the 2nd Session and that such consideration would begin about February 15, 1960.

 

Pursuant to this commitment, the debate on civil rights legislation began on February 15 when Senator Dirksen proposed the Administration’s program in the form of amendments to a pending bill, with the cooperation of Senator Johnson.

 

In the Senate, the failure to strengthen the bill was due to the refusal of the Senate to vote an end to the filibustering tactics of the segregation bloc and more importantly, to an agreement between the Majority Leader, Senator Lyndon Johnson (D., Texas), the Minority Leader, Senator Everett Dirksen (R., Ill.) and northern members of both parties to defeat any strengthening amendments.

 

1. After almost a month of southern filibustering against a civil rights bill, Senators Douglas (D., Ill.) and Javits (R., N.Y.) filed a cloture petition. A vote was taken on March 10, 1960. If the Senate had acted favorably, the filibuster would have been broken and the Senate could have worked to enact a strong civil rights bill. The cloture motion lost by a vote of 42 to 53.

 

FOR the Cloture Motion

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST the Cloture Motion

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. Also on March 10, 1960, the Senate voted on Part III, which would have strengthened the civil rights bill by authorizing the U. S. Attorney General to file civil suits for injunction to protect civil rights. Part III was defeated when the Senate adopted a motion to table offered by Senator Johnson by a vote of 55 to 38. Senator Johnson’s motion killed Part III.

 

FOR Part III

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST Part IIII

 

Johnson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. Other attempts to strengthen the civil rights bill were defeated by a bi-partisan coalition headed by Senator Johnson and Senator Dirksen.

 

Vice-President Nixon has been serving as Chairman of the President’s Committee on Government Contracts since August, 1953.

 

This Committee seeks to guarantee non-discrimination in employment by firms working on Government contracts.

 

This Committee operates under Executive Order. President Eisenhower suggested that it be replaced by a permanent Commission with statutory authority.

 

An amendment to establish a permanent Commission on Equal Job Opportunity Under Government Contracts to prevent racial discrimination by firms granted Government Contracts was defeated on April 1, 1960, by the adoption of Senator Dirksen’s motion to table. The Dirksen motion was carried by a vote of 48 to 38.

 

AGAINST the Commission

 

Johnson

 

Not Voting

 

Kennedy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

4. On April 4, 1960, another strengthening amendment was killed. Senator Kenneth Keating (R., N.Y.) offered an amendment providing technical assistance to area desegregating their schools and endorsing the Supreme Court’s decision on school desegregation.  Senator Mike Mansfield (D., Mont.) moved to table. The Mansfield motion was adopted by a vote of 61 to 30.

 

AGAINST Supporting the Court Decision

 

Johnson

 

Not Voting

 

Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

5. On April 8, 1960, the Civil Rights Bill of 1960 (H.R. 8601) passed by a vote of 71 to 18.

 

FOR the Civil Rights Bill

 

Johnson                         Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

6. On August 9, during the Session of Congress following the national political conventions, Senator Dirksen (R., Ill.) introduced S. 3823, a bill to create a permanent President’s Committee on Equal Job Opportunity and to provide federal financial assistance to areas desegregating their schools.

 

Senator Clark (D., Pa.) moved to table S. 3823. His motion was adopted by a vote of 54 to 28. This prevented any further action on the bill. This was the only record vote on civil rights between the adoption of the party platforms and the adjournment of the 86th Congress.

 

AGAINST Taking Action on the Civil Rights Bill

 

Johnson                              Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

7. On June 22, 1960, Senator Javits (R., N.Y.) offered an amendment to an appropriation bill which would have refused Federal funds for construction of any airport terminal building containing racially segregated facilities. This was defeated by the adoption of a tabling motion offered by Senator Magnuson (D., Wash.) by a vote of 58 to 29.

 

AGAINST the Javits Amendment

 

Johnson

 

Not Voting

 

Kennedy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

On February 2, 1960, Senator Javits proposed an anti-poll tax bill as a substitute for a resolution proposing three constitutional amendments, one of which was to abolish the poll tax. It has long been the position of the NAACP and other civil rights organizations that the poll tax can be abolished by Congressional action, without resorting to a Constitutional amendment. To attempt to do it by Constitutional amendment would establish an undesirable precedent for other civil rights matters. Therefore, the Association supported the Javits substitute. It was defeated by a vote of 50 to 37.

 

FOR the Javits Bill

 

Kennedy

 

did not vote, but was paired for the bill

 

AGAINST the Javits Bill

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

9. Senate Rule 22 makes it virtually impossible to limit debate in the Senate especially on Civil Rights Bills. The southerners by filibustering either block civil rights legislation or give the Senate an excuse to compromise on such legislation. Therefore, the NAACP supports a change in this rule and supports all efforts to end filibusters against civil rights legislation.

 

When the 86th Congress met, civil rights supporters attempted to secure a change in Senate Rule 22, the filibuster rule. Senator Anderson (D., N. Mex.) offered a motion which would have allowed the Senate to take up Rule 22 for change and to consider proposals to make the Rule more liberal. The Anderson motion was defeated when the Senate adopted a motion to table it on January 9, 1959, by a vote of 60 to 36. The tabling motion was offered by Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson.

 

FOR the Anderson Motion

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST the Anderson Motion

 

Johnson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Opinion of the Vice-President

 

10. Prior to the vote on the Anderson motion, on January 7, Vice-President Nixon, in response to a parliamentary inquiry from Senator Javits (R., N.Y.) expressed the opinion “that the majority of the Senate has a constitutional right at the beginning of each new Congress to determine what rules it desires to follow.”

 

This opinion, if upheld by the Senate, would make it easier for the Senate to change Rule 22 (the filibuster rule) than has been possible in the past.

 

Senator Johnson’s motion to table Senator Anderson’s motion made it unnecessary for the Senate to vote on the Vice-President’s opinion.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

11. On September 14, 1959, the Senate approved extending the life of the Civil Rights Commission for two years by a vote of 71 to 18.

 

FOR the Extension

 

Johnson                            Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

85th Congress

 

12. On January 4, 1957, the Senate by a vote of 55 to 38 defeated Senator Anderson’s motion that would have changed Rule 22 (the filibuster rule) by accepting Senator Johnson’s motion to table.

 

On the same day, prior to the vote, Vice-President Nixon answered a parliamentary inquiry by Senator Hubert Humphrey (D., Minn) by an opinion, in which he stated: “when the membership of the Senate changes as it does upon the election of each Congress, it is the Chair’s opinion that there can be no question that the majority of the new existing membership of the Senate, under the Constitution, have the power to determine the rules under which the Senate will proceed.”

 

This opinion, if supported by the Senate, would make a change in Rule 22 easier.

 

The parliamentary situation prevented a vote on the Vice-President’s ruling, as the adoption of the Johnson motion prevented any further action on Rule 22 at that time.

 

FOR the Anderson Motion

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST the Anderson Motion

 

Johnson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - --

 

When H. R. 6127, the Civil Rights Bill, came to the Senate from the House, opponents sought to kill it by forcing it into Senator Eastland’s Judiciary Committee.

 

When Senator Knowland (R., Cal.) on June 20, 1957, objected to the bill’s being sent to the Judiciary Committee, Senator Russell (D., Ga.) raised a point of order, insisting that under the Senate Rules the bill must go to the Committee before coming to the Senate floor for debate.

 

13. Vice-President Nixon stated his opinion that Senator Russell’s point of order was not well taken. In the course of his opinion, Mr. Nixon stated:

 

“How can the right of the Senate to decide whether a bill should be referred to committee be protected?

 

In the opinion of the Chair, the following procedure, based on Senate precedents, accomplished that objective.

 

“In the absence of objection, after second reading of a bill, it will, under the long established practice of the Senate, be immediately referred to the committee designated by the provisions of rule XIV.

 

“If objection is made under paragraph 4, rule XIV, and a point of order is not raised against the objection, the bill will be placed on the calendar. . . . . . .

 

“The Senate, in effect, by failing to raise a point of order, waived its right to refer the bill to committee.

 

“If when a Senator attempts to invoke paragraph 4, rule XIV, a point of order is raised on the ground that the bill should be referred to committee….. the Chair can decide the point of order or submit it to the Senate for decision. . . . . .

 

“It is the Chair’s opinion that the point of order is not well taken but . . . . . . the Chair believes that the proper procedure is to submit the point of order to the Senate under rule XX. . . . . . .”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

14. The Senate overruled the Russell point of order by a vote of 49 to 39 on June 20, 1957, defeating the attempt to send the bill to the Eastland Committee.

 

FOR Sending the Bill to Eastland Committee

 

Johnson                              Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

15. When the bill (H.R. 6127) was considered by the Senate, Part III, which would have allowed the Attorney General to act in civil rights cases, was taken out by a vote of 52 to 38 on July 24, 1957.  This part of the bill would have given the Justice Department new power to act in matters such as the Little Rock and Virginia school cases.

 

FOR Part III

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST Part III

 

Johnson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

16. The Senate attached a jury trial amendment to the civil rights bill over the opposition of the civil rights forces on August 2, 1957, by a vote of 51 to 42.

 

FOR the Jury Trial Amendment

 

Johnson                   Kennedy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

17. On August 29, 1957, the Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill of 1957 (H.R. 6127) by a vote of 60 to 15.

 

FOR the Civil Rights Bill

 

Johnson                       Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

18. The southern bloc opposed the nomination of W. Wilson White as head of the Civil Rights Division, in order to frustrate the work of the Division and because Mr. White had advised the President on the use of troops in Little Rock. On August 18, 1958, Mr. White’s nomination was approved by a vote of 56 to 20.

 

FOR the White Nomination

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST the White Nomination

 

Johnson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

19. In the closing days of the 85th Congress, opponents of the Supreme Court made a desperate effort to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and other Federal Courts. The Jenner-Butler Bill would have reversed some of the liberal decisions of the Supreme Court and taken away from the Court the authority to hear appeals in cases affecting the right to practice law in the state courts. The Senate killed the Jenner-Butler Bill on August 20, 1958, by adopting Senator Hennings’ motion to table it by a vote of 49 to 41.

 

FOR the Hennings’ Motion

 

Johnson                    Kennedy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

20. The McClellan Bill would have limited the right of Federal courts to strike down state laws as being in conflict with Federal laws except where Congress specifically granted such authority. It was strongly opposed by the NAACP. Two attempts were made to kill this bill. The first, a motion to table by Senator Hennings on August 20, 1958, failed by a vote of 46 to 39.

 

FOR the Hennings’ Motion

 

Johnson                    Kennedy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

21. The second attempt to kill the McClellan bill, a motion to recommit, by Senator John Carroll (D., Colo) passed on August 21, 1958, by a vote of 41 to 40.

 

FOR the Carroll Motion

 

Johnson                     Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

84th Congress

 

On August 1, 1955, an attempt was made to continue a prohibition of payment of the Poll Tax by servicemen who use absentee ballots, but was defeated 56 to 22.

 

Not Voting

 

Johnson                   Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

23. The NAACP opposed the Daniel-Mundt Resolution proposing a Constitutional amendment which would have changed the method of electing the President. The Resolution was drafted to give more power to the southern states in the election of the President and Vice President.

 

Senator Kennedy successfully led the floor fight in the Senate against the Daniel-Mundt Resolution. It was defeated on March 27, 1956, when it failed to secure the required two-thirds vote.

 

FOR the Daniel-Mundt Resolution

 

Johnson

 

AGAINST the Daniel-Mundt Resolution

 

Kennedy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

23. President Eisenhower nominated Solicitor General Sobeloff to be a Circuit Court Judge. The southerners opposed him because he had represented the Department of Justice in opposing school segregation before the Supreme Court. On July 16, 1956, the Senate approved the Sobeloff nomination by a vote of 64 to 19.

 

FOR the Sobeloff Nomination

 

Johnson                       Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

In connection with school desegregation, it should be noted that Senator Johnson did not sign the Southern Manifesto attacking the Supreme Court’s decision in the school case.

 

25. On July 24, 1956, Senator Douglas made a motion to adjourn the Senate. If adopted it would have made possible Senate consideration of the House-passed Civil Rights Bill, H. R. 627. The motion was defeated by a vote of 76 to 6.

 

AGAINST the Douglas Motion

 

Johnson                    Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - -

 

83rd Congress

 

26. Senator Anderson sponsored a motion to change Rule 22 (the filibuster rule.) It was defeated by a vote of 70 to 21 on January 7, 1953.

 

FOR the Anderson Motion

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST the Anderson Motion

 

Johnson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

82nd Congress

 

27. Senator Herbert Lehman (D., N.Y.) sponsored an amendment which would have made violence against servicemen punishable as a Federal crime. On March 7, 1951, it was defeated 57 to 30.

 

FOR the Lehman Amendment

 

Lodge

 

AGAINST the Lehman Amendment

 

Johnson                   Nixon

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

28. In this Congress the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare considered FEPC legislation.

 

Senator Humphrey (D., Minn.) submitted a report for a majority of the Committee recommending passage of S. 2080, a bill to “prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, or ancestry.”

 

Senator Nixon and Senator Robert Taft (R., Ohio), who were on the Committee dissented with the majority recommendation, as follows:

 

                        “We do not concur in the views of the majority and reserve the right to

                        file individual views at a later date.”

 

The Congressional Record  indicates that no such views were filed.

 

The Senate failed to act on S. 2080.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

81st Congress

 

29. At the opening of the 81st Congress, Vice President Barkley gave a ruling that would have made it easier to break a filibuster. On March 11, 1949, the Senate overruled the Vice President, 46 to 41.

 

FOR the Barkley Ruling

 

Lodge

 

AGAINST the Barkley Ruling

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

30. On March 17, 1949, the Senate adopted the Wherry-Hayden Resolution by a vote of 63 to 23. This tightened Rule 22 (the filibuster rule) to make it more difficult to end filibusters. It set up a requirement of two-thirds vote of the entire Senate membership (including those not voting) to invoke cloture. It also prohibited cloture on any change in Senate rules.

 

FOR the Wherry-Hayden Resolution

 

Johnson

 

AGAINST the Wherry-Hayden Resolution

 

Lodge

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

31. Senator Lodge introduced a resolution to enact a constitutional amendment to change the method of electing the President. This was known as the Lodge-Gossett Resolution. The effect of it would have been to increase the power of the South in Presidential elections. It was opposed by the NAACP.

 

On February 1, 1950, the Senate passed the Lodge-Gossett Resolution by a vote of 64 to 24. It was subsequently defeated in the House of Representatives.

 

FOR the Lodge-Gossett Resolution

 

Lodge

 

Not Voting

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

32. Senator Lodge sponsored an NAACP supported amendment to a Federal aid to education bill to require states to abolish racial segregation in their schools as a condition of receiving Federal assistance. On May 3, 1949, this amendment was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 65 to 16.

 

FOR the Amendment

 

Lodge

 

AGAINST the Amendment

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

33. Two votes were taken to end filibuster against FEPC. On May 19, 1950, the first of these failed by a vote of 52 to 32 (64 votes were needed).

 

FOR Ending the Filibuster

 

Lodge

 

AGAINST Ending the Filibuster

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

On July 12, 1950, the second attempt to end the FEPC failed by a vote of 55 to 33.

 

FOR Ending the Filibuster

 

Lodge

 

AGAINST Ending the Filibuster

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

35. Senator Lucas (D., Ill.) sponsored an amendment to protect integration in the Armed Forces. This amendment was approved by a vote of 42 to 29 on January 21, 1950.

 

FOR the Lucas Amendment

 

Lodge

 

AGAINST the Lucas Amendment

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

80th Congress

 

36. Senator William Langer (D., N. Dak.) sponsored an amendment to prohibit segregation in the Armed Forces. On June 7, 1948, this amendment was defeated by a vote of 67 to 7.

 

AGAINST the Langer Anti-Segregation Amendment

 

Lodge

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

37. Also on June 7, 1948, Senator Langer offered an amendment to make violence to servicemen punishable as a Federal crime. This was defeated by vote of 61 to 7.

 

AGAINST the Langer Anti-Violence Amendment

 

Lodge

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

38. On June 7, 1948, the Senate by a vote of 37-35 adopted an amendment to the Selective Service Act eliminating the payment by servicemen of the poll tax as a prerequisite to voting in Federal elections.

 

FOR the Langer Anti-Poll Tax Amendment

 

Lodge

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

77th Congress

 

39. November 23, 1942 the Senate voted on a cloture motion to end a filibuster against an anti-poll tax bill. The cloture motion was not adopted.

 

FOR Ending the Filibuster

 

Lodge

 

HOUSE RECORD

 

Following are the records of Senator Johnson, Senator Kennedy and Vice President Nixon from the 77th through the 82nd Congresses in the House of Representatives.

 

                        Senator Johnson was in the House during the 77th to 80th Congresses.

 

                        Senator Kennedy was in the House in the 80th, 81st and 82nd Congresses.

 

                        Vice-President Nixon was in the House in the 80th and 81st Congresses.

 

82nd Congress

 

40. The NAACP opposed a bill offered by Representative Rankin (D., Miss.) which would have established a Jim Crow Veterans Hospital. It was defeated by a vote of 2223 to 117 on June 6, 1951.

 

Not Voting

 

Kennedy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

81st Congress

 

41. The NAACP supported an amendment which prohibited segregation in the SPARS, the Women’s Auxiliary of the Coast Guard. The amendment was adopted on April 4, 1949, by a vote of 193 to 153. (The bill, as amended, was then killed by a non-record vote recommitting it to Committee.)

 

FOR the Amendment

 

Kennedy                        Nixon

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

42. The NAACP supported a bill to abolish the Poll Tax. On July 26, 1949, the bill passed the House by a vote of 273 to 116. (The bill died in the Senate.)

 

FOR the Bill

 

Kennedy                           Nixon

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

43. The House considered a strong FEPC bill introduced by Mr. Powell. Instead of passing this, it passed a weak substitute, sponsored by Mr. Samuel McConnell on February 22, 1950. (The bill died in the Senate.)

 

FOR Strong FEPC

 

Kennedy

 

AGAINST Strong FEPC

 

Nixon

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

44. On July 17, 1950, the House defeated the Lodge-Gossett Resolution by a vote of 210 to 134. This resolution proposed a change in the method of electing the President so as to give increased power to the South in Presidential elections.

 

FOR the Lodge- Gossett Resolution

 

Nixon

 

Not Voting

 

Kennedy

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

80th Congress

 

45. On July 21, 1947, the House passed the Bender anti-poll tax bill. This bill died in the Senate.

 

FOR the Bill

 

Kennedy                                  Nixon

 

AGAINST the Bill

 

*Johnson

_____

*Not voting, but paired

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - -

 

79th Congress

 

46. On June 12, 1946, the House passed an anti-poll tax bill. This bill was killed in the Senate by a southern filibuster.

 

AGAINST the Poll Tax Bill

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

47. On February 21, 1946, the House adopted an amendment offered by Congressman Powell (D., N.Y.) to the National School Lunch Act. The amendment prohibited discrimination in the use of school lunch funds.

 

AGAINST the Powell Amendment

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

48. An attempt to get a vote on an Anti-Lynching Bill was made by having Congressmen sign a discharge petition.

 

Non-Signer

 

Johnson

 

78th Congress

 

49. On May 25, 1943, the House passed an anti-poll tax bill.

 

AGAINST the Bill

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

77th Congress

 

50. On October 13, 1942, the House passed an anti-poll tax bill.

 

AGAINST the Bill

 

Johnson

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Each of the candidates was supplied a copy of the above record and asked to submit any comments he cared to make.

 

Senator Kennedy responded as follows:

           

June 23, 1960

 

Mr. Clarence Mitchell

Director, Washington Bureau

National Association for the

Advancement of Colored People

Hotel St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Dear Mr. Mitchell:

 

Thank you for sending me a copy of your report on the civil rights record of the Presidential candidates.

 

I would appreciate your noting in the report that, although I was absent from the Senate on April 4, 1960, when the vote was taken on the amendment to provide technical assistance to areas desegregating their schools and endorsing the Supreme Court’s decision on school desegregation, I did support and was announced as supporting the amendment. (Congressional Record, page 6743.)

 

As you know, the amendment was defeated by a wide margin, so my vote was not required. On a number of occasions when my vote was needed in the efforts to strengthen the civil rights bill, I interrupted my primary campaign to case such votes.

 

Similarly, I supported the amendment to establish a permanent Commission on Equal Job Opportunity under Government contracts, and my support was so announced. (Congressional Record, page 6653.)  Moreover, on eleven separate occasions, both in committee and on the floor of Congress, I have voted for a strong Fair Employment Practices Commission.

 

You might also be interested in the fact that in my first major address on the Senate floor, on May 20 1953, I called for Congressional action to end discrimination in employment in general and with regard to Government contracts in particularly.
Such discrimination is one of the worst types of labor exploitation,” I said, and has “very serious adverse effects upon our international relations, our society, and the individual.”

 

The report also indicates that I did not vote on the August 1, 1955 motion to eliminate the poll tax for servicemen. My record on this is quite clear. One of my first votes as a freshman Representative from Massachusetts was in favor of eliminating the poll tax.

 

One omission in the record of votes occurs to me - - the votes on the amendments to adopt the more effective registrar plan or to adopt both the registrar and referee plans in an effective combination. I supported all of these attempts to strengthen the 1960 Civil Rights Act.

 

As to the jury trial amendment in 1957, I voted on the advise of outstanding civil liberties law experts whom I consulted, who were also notable champions of civil rights - - and in practice the provision adopted requiring a jury trial if anyone is to be in jail for more than 45 days has not been a hindrance. The Administration has not even used the powers provided - - and has not asked any court to hold any violator of voting rights in contempt.

 

It will be the duty of the next Democratic Administration to use the full powers of the 1957 and 1960 Acts to see that no American is denied his right to vote by reason of race. The next President and his Attorney General must take effective action to make good this primary guarantee of the Constitution.

 

So, too, the high office of the Presidency must be used to provide the effective, creative, persuasive leadership necessary if we are to fulfill the great constitutional promise of equal protection - - of equal opportunity - - for all Americans in all parts of our public life.

 

With every good wish, 

 

                                                                                                Sincerely,

 

                                                                                                /s/ John F. Kennedy

 

THE PARTY PLATFORMS

 

Both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in their party platforms adopted stronger civil rights planks than they had ever accepted previously.

 

NAACP Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins issued the following statement relative to these civil rights planks:

 

“There are striking differences between the 1960 planks of both parties and the ones adopted by them in 1956. Both are far ahead of those chosen four years ago.

 

“The Democratic plank is stronger and more comprehensive and does not shrink from the touchy topics of FEPC and the Part III provision which was chopped from the 1957 civil rights bill. Even more significant than the differences between the Republican and Democratic planks this year are the area of agreement.

 

“For the first time both parties have put themselves on record unequivocally as favoring the elimination of segregation and other forms of discrimination from all areas of community and national life.

 

“Both have pledged to remove the procedural roadblocks in the Congress that have impeded progress towards that goal.

 

“Both have reaffirmed support of the historic right of peaceful protest against the indignities and injustices of discriminatory treatment.

 

“Most importantly, both have recognized the need for affirmative legislative and executive action by the federal government and have committed themselves to such a course.

 

“In the area of voting, both parties have pledged vigorous enforcement of existing statutes and new legislation to overcome the barriers import by present “literacy” tests.

 

“In the area of housing, both parties have pledged action to prohibit discrimination in all housing constructed with federal funds or subsidies. The Democratic plank goes beyond this in that its term, “federally-assisted,” would appear to include as well all the insuring and lending functions of the federal government.

 

“In the area of employment, both parties have pledged the elimination of discrimination within the federal establishment and on all work performed under government contract. We strongly favor the provision in the Democratic plank calling for the enactment of a federal FEPC and we trust that the “full scale review” referred to in the Republican plank will lead to Republican support of such a measure.

 

“In the area of education, both parties have pledged to implement the Supreme Court’s public school desegregation ruling of 1954 and to provide technical and financial assistance to school districts in order to facilitate compliance with that decision.”

 

“The Republicans would authorize the Attorney General to file civil injunction suits, but only in school desegregation cases and then only under certain circumstances. The Democratic language is plain and unrestricted, authorizing injunctive action “to prevent the denial of any civil rights on grounds of race, creed or color.”  Ironically, this provision was included in President Eisenhower’s legislative program which was adopted as part of the 1956 Republican platform.

 

“Our aim is to accelerate compliance with the school decision and to lift the heavy burden of litigation from harassed Negro parents. We hope that the deadline date set by the Democrats and the civil injunction proposals will result in more speed and less deliberateness.

 

“The time has come to charge every school board affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling with responsibility for initiating compliance. School authorities must not be permitted to continue the evasion of the law of the land which has resulted in a disgraceful average desegregation rate of one per cent a year.

 

“We approve the provision in the Democratic plank for a permanent civil rights commission with broad powers and we heartily endorse the important and significant opposition by the Republicans to the use of federal funds for the construction of segregated community facilities.

 

“The interest, attention and controversy surrounding the discussion of the civil rights plank in both the Republican and Democratic national conventions indicate clearly that civil rights can no longer be regarded as a narrow issue of concern to minority groups alone. It must be recognized and dealt with as a national question that challenges the integrity of our democratic professions and our leadership of the free world.

 

“Neither the Republican nor the Democratic party by itself can make good the promises for civil rights legislation set forth in their platforms. Neither alone can “deliver.”

 

“Only through united action by both parties in vigorous support of the pledges they have made in common can we realize the goal of equal justice and equal opportunity to which both parties stand committed and to which our nation is dedicated.

 

“We look forward to a beginning on such united action in the post-convention session of Congress next month.

 

                        COMPILED BY:  J. Francis Pohlhaus

                                                      Washington Bureau, NAACP

 

For further information and/or additional copies, Contact:

 

                                    Washington Bureau, NAACP

                                    100 Massachusetts Avenue, N. W.

                                    Washington 1, D. C.

 


 

The following letter was received following preparation of the above record:

 

            September 25, 1960

 

Mr. Clarence Mitchell, Director

Washington Bureau

National Association for the Advancement of

                                    Colored People

100 Massachusetts Avenue, N. W.

Washington 1, D. C.

 

Dear Clarence:

 

The principal addition which I would suggest to the record which you have been good enough to compile is the action taken when the Congress returned after the party conventions this summer. At those conventions both parties pledged strong Civil Rights action. Upon the resumption of the Congressional session, the Republicans took appropriate steps to bring the Civil Rights issue to the attention of the Senate. The first effort was to restore to the Civil Rights Act of 1960 those provisions recommended by the President and supported by me which were stricken from the bill during its passage through the Congress. These provisions were as follows:

 

1. A section to create a Commission on Equal Job Opportunity which would make permanent and strengthen the Committee now operating as the President’s Committee on Government Contracts and which would have for its purpose the elimination of racial discrimination in work performed under Government contract.

 

2. A provision to authorize technical and financial aid to the school districts which desegregated in compliance with the Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.

 

This effort by the Republicans was frustrated by a motion to table by a Democratic senator.[2] The motion was carried by almost a straight party vote (54 – 28), almost all the Democrats including Senator Kennedy and Senator Johnson, voting for the motion, and all the Republicans, except two, voting against it. This prevented any further effort to add these provisions to the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

 

Although the reason given for this action by the Democratic Party was its desire to prevent the obstruction of other matters pending in Congress, in fact, no constructive action was taken on any other major matter during the resumed session of Congress. It seemed to me and the Republican Senators that it would help the voters in selecting their next President to witness a test of the sincerity of the respective party platforms on Civil Rights. This session could have furnished such a test had the Democrats been willing to permit it to do so.

 

The record is, of course, only of legislative action. During the past eight years as Vice President, my efforts in this field have been primarily in conjunction with the Executive Branch of the government rather than the Legislative. As Chairman of the President’s Committee on Government Contracts and as a participant in the formulation of policy recommendations for the President, I believe that I have contributed to the action of the present Administration in the most fruitful eight years of Civil Rights gains in eighty years.

 

The basic draft of the Civil Rights plank in the Republican platform was drafted under my supervision and approved by me before it was sent to the Resolutions Committee in Chicago. The few additions which were made there were also approved by me. I stand for it in word and spirit and I shall do my best to bring about its fulfillment if entrusted with the responsibility for doing so.

 

With kindest regards.

 

                                                                                                Sincerely yours,

 

                                                                                          /s/  Dick Nixon

 

                                                                                                Richard Nixon

 


 

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