Skip to comments.Credit Where Credit Is Due: The Republicans Passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Posted on 06/30/2004 12:15:42 PM PDT by ZGuy
During the Kennedy administration, the Republican minority in Congress introduced many bills to protect the constitutional rights of blacks, including a comprehensive new civil rights bill. In February 1963, to head off a return by most blacks to the party of Lincoln, Kennedy abruptly decided to submit to Congress a new civil rights bill. Hastily drafted in a single all-nighter, the Kennedy bill fell well short of what our Party had introduced into Congress the month before. Over the next several months, Democrat racists in Congress geared up for a protracted filibuster against the civil rights bill. The bill was before a committee in the House of Representatives when John Kennedy was murdered in November 1963.
Invoking his slain predecessor, Lyndon Johnson made passage of the bill his top priority, and in his first speech to Congress he urged Representatives and Senators to do "more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined". Though he shared Johnson's convictions on safeguarding the constitutional rights of blacks, if Nixon had been in the White House then instead, Democrats in favor of segregation and those unwilling to see a Republican achieve the victory would have blocked his legislative initiative in Congress.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act was an update of Republican Senator Charles Sumner's 1875 Civil Rights Act. In striking down that law in 1883, the Supreme Court had ruled that the 14th amendment was not sufficient constitutional authorization, so the 1964 version had to be written in such a way as to rely instead on the interstate commerce clause for its constitutional underpinning.
Mindful of how Democrat opposition had forced the Republicans to weaken their 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts, President Johnson warned Democrats in Congress that this time it was all or nothing. To ensure support from Republicans, he had to promise them that he would not accept any weakening of the bill and also that he would publicly credit our Party for its role in securing congressional approval. Johnson played no direct role in the legislative fight, so that it would not be perceived as a partisan struggle. There was no doubt that the House of Representatives would pass the bill.
In the Senate, Minority Leader Everett Dirksen had little trouble rounding up the votes of most Republicans, and former presidential candidate Richard Nixon also lobbied hard for the bill. Senate Majority Leader Michael Mansfield and Senator Hubert Humphrey led the Democrat drive for passage, while the chief opponents were Democrat Senators Sam Ervin, of later Watergate fame, Albert Gore Sr., and Robert Byrd. Senator Byrd, a former Klansman whom Democrats still call "the conscience of the Senate", filibustered against the civil rights bill for fourteen straight hours before the final vote. The House of Representatives passed the bill by 289 to 126, a vote in which 79% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats voted yes. The Senate vote was 73 to 27, with 21 Democrats and only 6 Republicans voting no. President Johnson signed the new Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964.
Overall, there was little overt resistance to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The struggle was not yet over, however, as most southern state governments remained under the control of segregationist Democrats. It was a Republican federal judge who desegregated many public facilities in the South. Appointed by President Eisenhower in 1955, Frank Johnson had overturned Montgomery, Alabama's infamous "blacks in the back of the bus" law in his very first decision. During the 1960s, Judge Johnson continued to advance civil rights despite opposition from George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and other Democrat Governors.
This essay is adapted from Back to Basics for the Republican Party (3rd ed.), Michael Zak's history of the Grand Old Party from the Republican point of view. See Back to Basics for the Republican Party for more information about the book.
The House of Representatives passed the bill by 289 to 126, a vote in which 79% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats voted yes. The Senate vote was 73 to 27, with 21 Democrats and only 6 Republicans voting no.
Truth won't matter. Truth is wasted on those who will not seek it.
That and they go and claim that back then the Republicans were, ugh, liberal.
Another move by the "dumb" party that has caused them many elections.
Liberals treat facts like Dracula treats sunlight.
Truths Ignored But Now Explored
Our nation's top historians reveal that the Democratic Party gave us the Ku Klux Klan, Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws and other repressive legislation which resulted in the multitude of murders, lynchings, mutilations, and intimidations (of thousands of black and white Republicans). On the issue of slavery: historians say the Democrats gave their lives to expand it, the Republicans gave their lives to ban it.
Regarding the Republican Party, historians report that while Democrats were busy passing laws to hurt blacks, Republicans devoted their time to passing laws to help blacks. Republicans were primarily responsible for the following Civil Rights legislation:
1. The Emancipation Proclamation
2. The 13th Amendment
3. The 14th Amendment
4. The 15th Amendment
5. The Reconstruction Act of 1867
6. The Civil Rights of 1866
7. The Enforcement Act of 1870
8. The Forced Act of 1871
9. The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871
10. The Civil Rights Act of 1875
11. The Freeman Bureau
12. The Civil Rights Act of 1957
13. The Civil Rights Act of 1960
14. The United State Civil Rights Commission
And gave strong bi-partisan support and sponsorship for the following
15. The Civil Rights Act of 1964
17. The Voting Rights Act of 1965
18. The 1968 Civil Rights Acts
19. The Equal Opportunity Act of 1972
20. Goals and Timetables for Affirmative Action Programs
21. Comprehensive Employment Training Act of 1973
22. Voting Rights Act of Amendment of 1982
23. Civil Rights Act of 1983
24. Federal Contract Compliance and Workforce Development Act of 1988
Programs By Republicans & their Supporters include:
a. Many of our key traditional Black Colleges are named after Republicans Colleges
b. The Freedman Bureau
c. Historians say that three whites that opposed the Democrat's racist practices, including the lynching of blacks, founded and funded the NAACP
Political HIGHLIGHTS OF
Findings Regarding Republicans & Democrats
From the Civil War To 1964
1. Both parties were inspired, by the Bible: one party believed the Bible supported their position that blacks should be free, the other believed the Bible said that blacks should be slaves (Based on the curse of Ham in Genesis 9:25-27. Note: The Muslims were the first religious group to enslave and trade Africans as slaves - 800 years before Columbus allegedly discovered America.
2. One party and their abolitionist supporters believed the Bible instructed them to lay down their lives for the slaves, the other party and their supporters believed the Bible gave them the right to take the lives of blacks if they rebelled against being slaves.
3. On the issue of slavery, one party and its supporters gave their lives to expand it (to Northern states) and the other party and their supporters gave their lives to ban it.
4. One party was heavily influenced by the Abolitionists and the radical wing of their party (Radical Republicans) and the other party was influenced by the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groups.
5. One party and its supporters started the Freedman's Bureau and other programs to help build communities for blacks, the other party and their supporters engaged in practices to hinder those efforts and to destroy those communities (Wilmington, North Carolina).
6. One party and its supporters established quality schools and colleges for blacks, the other party and their supporters engaged in practices that attempted to close some of those schools or diminish their quality.
7. One party passed laws and Constitutional Amendments (13th , 14th , 15th) to include blacks as part of mainstream society, the other party passed laws to exclude them from the mainstream (Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes). One set of laws that were designed to help blacks, the other set of laws designed to
hurt or hinder blacks.
8. The members of one party gave black voters protection, members of the other party murdered, tortured and intimidated black voters.
9. By 1900, as the lynchings of blacks increased (by the members of Democratic Party and their Klan supporters) the number of black politicians decreased. Up to this time (1900) all of the black elected officials in Congress were Republicans.
10. By 1933, black leaders believed Republicans took their vote for granted and elected Franklin D. Roosevelt. Not long after Roosevelt took office, he banned black newspapers from the military and refused to pass key legislation to help blacks (Civil Rights Commission and Anti-Klan laws).
11. By 1945 (under President Truman), the military was in the process of being integrated, the integration process was completed under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican President.
12. During the Eisenhower Administration other Civil Rights Laws were passed and school desegregation began (as a result of pressure from the African American community).
13. During the 1960's, the Black Church, which was the foundation of the black community, ultimately became the salvation of the Democratic Party (their only hope for the White House).
14. Under President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. Johnson commended Senator Everett Dirksen a Republican senator from Illinois for pushing the law through. More Republicans voted for this law than Democrats. Southern Democrats voted against the law.
15. Under Republican President, Richard Nixon the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act was passed and Affirmative Action was established with quotas, goals and timetables.
16. By the time Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 both parties were being influenced by individuals who claimed they were former racist and/or Klansmen (Senator Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, and Trent Lott to name a few).
17. By 2003, the Democratic Party had elected white women and white men
as U.S. Senators (for their party), but never a black man. The Republican had elected three.
18. By 2003, the Democratic Party had never offered an apology for the
horrific atrocities that they had committed against blacks over the past 150
Summary: The past activities of both parties has a residual resounding affect on blacks today. From one group and their supporters, millions of blacks are still raduating from the schools and colleges that they established; they are still getting the benefits from the constitutional amendments and laws that they legislated; and they are still getting protection from the organizations that they founded and financed (theNAACP). From the racist efforts and practices of the other group and their supporters, blacks are still trying to heal from the wounds inflicted on them (during the past 150 years) and they are still trying to overcome the racist practices and laws that excluded them from the mainstream. Since 1863, the Republicans have sponsored, supported and passed more Civil Rights legislation favoring African Americans than the Democratic Party.
Conclusions: Today both the Republicans and the Democrats are overlooking their past. One party is overlooking the terrible acts they have committed against blacks. The other party is overlooking the terrific things they done for blacks. One party literally gave their lives to hurt blacks, the other party gave their lives to help blacks. One needs to remember its past to correct their errors, and the other needs to remember their past to continue the things they did for us.
Does anyone know what the vote was by numbers? This article doesn't squarely address that. How many Republicans and Democrats voted yes/no in each Chamber. The article mentions percentages of "yes" votes in the House and the total of "no" votes in the Senate (each by party), but doesn't say how many "yes" votes (again, by party) in the Senate and doesn't say how many republicans and democrats were in each chamber at the time.
On June 17, the Senate voted by a 76 to 18 margin to adopt the bipartisan substitute worked out by Dirksen in his office in May and to give the bill its third reading. Two days later, the Senate passed the bill by a 73 to 27 roll call vote. Six Republicans and 21 Democrats held firm and voted against passage.
From a quick search I did I found this at http://www.congresslink.org/civil/essay.html
That's great, but I have another question. If I understand your description, after the House voted in February, the bill was altered (you mention that the Senate passed a "bipartisan substitute" in July). That would render the February House vote moot because the bill had changed (or was amended). If so, did the House vote again on the final version of the bill? Or am I incorrect that the bill in July was different than the bill the House voted on in February?
BTW - The search I did on AltaVista to find that page was : +"civil rights act" +1964 +vote
Overall, there was little overt resistance to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The struggle was not yet over, however, as most southern state governments remained under the control of segregationist Democrats. It was a Republican federal judge who desegregated many public facilities in the South.
Appointed by President Eisenhower in 1955, Frank Johnson had overturned Montgomery, Alabama's infamous "blacks in the back of the bus" law in his very first decision.
During the 1960s, Judge Johnson continued to advance civil rights despite opposition from George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and other Democrat Governors.
Thanks for the ping!
Why would you describe the GOP as dumb here? Do you think that the Dems were right in their opposition?
If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
They're going fast!
I realize this was an old post of yours but I happened to be doing some research on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and came upon the figures you sought. Since I couldn't find anywhere on the post where your question was answered, I thought I'd provide them.
· The Original House Version: 290-130
· The Senate Version: 73-27
· The Senate Version, as voted on by the House: 289-126
By Party: The Original House Version:
· Democratic Party: 153-96 (39% against)
· Republican Party: 138-34 (21% against)
The Senate Version:
· Democratic Party: 46-22 (32% against)
· Republican Party: 27-6 (18% against)
The Senate Version, voted on by the House:
· Democratic Party: 153-91 (37% against)
· Republican Party: 136-35 (20% against)
By Party and Region:
The Original House Version:
· Southern Democrats: 7-87
· Southern Republicans: 0-10
· Northern Democrats: 145-9
· Northern Republicans: 138-24
The Senate Version:
· Southern Democrats: 1-21
· Southern Republicans: 0-1
· Northern Democrats: 46-1
· Northern Republicans: 27-5