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US Senators Fight Against Spud Discrimination

US Senators Fight Against Spud Discrimination

While the sweet potato is commonly known as a nutritious vegetable, it seems that its beige-colored cousin has a bad rap on The Hill. In December 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cut white potatoes from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), making it the only excluded fresh fruit or vegetable. Now, two senators — Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Udall (D-CO) — are standing up for the spud and petitioning for its re-inclusion.

The WIC provides Federal funding to states in order to support low-income pregnant and postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to five years-old. The aid comes in the form of supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education.

The food package offered in conjunction with the WIC has a wide range of eligible food items, from breakfast cereal and milk to infant formula and medical foods, but each category has a host of restrictions. In many cases, they are smart, nutritious-conscious requirements meant to guide participants’ health. For instance, for 100 grams of cereal, there must be at least 28 milligrams of iron and no more than 21.2 grams of sucrose and other sugars.

However, the note that “any variety of fresh or cut vegetable” is eligible “except white potatoes” has sparked some political controversy about produce. According to Senator Collins, “The potato is a wonderfully nutritious food that is inexpensive, easy to transport, has a long storage life, and can be used in a wide array of recipes.”

Indeed, the white potato is low in calories (a medium contains only 163), high in potassium, cholesterol-free, fat-free, sodium-free, and full of fiber.

So, what’s the USDA’s problem? Reportedly, the 2009 rule was based upon a 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans report, which uses data decades old. If Collins and Udall’s amendment for the Farm Bill goes through, the misconception about white potatoes’ value will be effectively mashed, buttered, and put to rest.


Equal Rights Amendment Is Approved by Congress

WASHINGTON, March 22—The Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment today, thus completing Congressional action on the amendment, which would prohibit discrimination based on sox by any law or action of any government—Federal, state or local.

The 49‐year struggle of feminists to get the amendment through Congress ended at 4:38 P.M. when the 84‐to‐8 Vote was announced.

Thirty‐two Minutes later, Hawaii became the first state to ratify the amendment when the state Senate. and, House of Representatives registered its approval at 12:10 P.M. Hawaiian standard time (5:10 P.M. Eastern standard time).

The Senate galleries, which were filled with women of all ages and more than a few, men, mostly young, applauded cheered and let out a few cowboy yells despite having been warned in advance by ‘Senator. William V. Roth Jr., Republican of Delaware, who was presiding, that such demonstrations Were not permitted.

The next and’ final step before the amendment can go into effect is ratification by 37 more states, the three‐quarters required by the Constitution.

The signature of the President is not required.

Confidence that ratification would be achieved swiftly was expressed by a number of supporters of the amendment..

Senator Birch Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, who led the Senate fight for the amendment, said he thought it would be ratified “with dispatch.”

Present on the Senate floor when the amendment passed was Representative Martha W. Griffiths, Democrat of Michigan, who is generally given the

Continued on Page 21, Column 3 largest single share of credit for enacting the amendment. Two years ago, she succeeded in a rarely tried parliamentary maneuver to bring the amendment to the House floor without the approval of the Judiciary Committee, which had refused for decades even to hold hearings on the measure.

Also watching from the Senate floor when the amendment passed—a privilege that House members have—were Representatives Margaret M. Heckler, Republican of Massachuetts, and Bella S. Abzug, Democrat of Manhattan.

Mrs. Griffiths sat at the back‐row desk usually occupied by Senator Edmund S. Muskie, Democrat of Maine, keeping her personal count of the rollcall.

Mr. Muskie returned from his campaigning in time for the roll‐call, as did Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Democrat of Minnesota. Both had missed what were generally considered to be key votes yesterday on changes in the amendment.

But two other Democratic Presidential candidates, although present yesterday, were absent today—Senators George McGovern of South Dakota and Henry M. Jackson of Washington.

Today's Senate debate centered, as it has from the outset, on what the consequences of the amendment would be.

Its principal opponent, Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr., Democrat of North Carolina, predicted many dire results. A series of seven amendments he offered were designed to thwart those results.

The Senate voted down all of Mr. Ervin's proposed changes. The largest number of votes that he mustered for any proposed change was 17.

The eight who voted against the Equal Rights Amendment included, in addition to Senator Ervin, only one other. Democrat, John C. Stennis of Mississippi. The other opponents were Wallace F. Bennett of Utah, Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, Paul J. Fannin of Arizona, Barry Goldwater of Arizona and Clifford. P. Hansen of Wyoming, all Republicans, and James L. Buckley of ‘New York, Conservative‐Republican.

How long it might take for the amendment to be ratified was unclear. Senator Bayh indicated he thought it would be two years. The amendment itself permits seven years to elapse before it dies, if unratified.

Common Cause, the organization headed by John W. Gardner that calls itself a public‐interest lobby, announced that it would get to work immediately in the 26 states where legislatures are in session now. Where legislatures are not in session, it will start organizing for ratification, Common Cause said.

It is agreed by all that considerable litigation would probably be required before all the effects of the amendment were known. The following, however, are some of the laws and practices that the amendment expected to invalidate:

¶Laws imposing greater se strictions on a woman's right, than on a man's, to buy or sell property or, to conduct a business.

¶Laws setting different ages at which men and women attain legal majority or have the right to marry or become eligible for tax‐supported retirement plans.

¶Differing admissions standards for boys and girls in taxsupported educational institutions and different facilities and curriculums—such as physical education programs and shop facilities — an public schools. qLaws establishing different jail sentences, by sex, for Identical offenses.

¶Laws automatically giving preference to the mother in child‐custody cases.

¶Laws granting alimony to women without reference to need and imposing the burden of child‐support on the father, regardless of the relative economic situations of the two parents.

¶Regulations denying unemployment compensation payments to, pregnant women who are still able and willing to work and laws that treat pregnancy differently from any other temporary physical disability.

¶Military rules setting high er entry standards for women volunteers than for men.

There is also general agreement that the amendment would require women to be drafted, if men were. The key vote in the Senate yesterday was over this issue, and Senator Ervin's amendment to prohibit the drafting of women was defeated, 73 to 18.

The main clause of the amendment is as follows:

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."


The Origins of Asian Oppression: The Gold Rush and Yellow Peril

When the Gold Rush in California was underway in 1848, many Americans moved from the cities in the East in hopes of striking it rich in the West. But the gold didn’t just attract Americans there was also an influx of people from the Chinese mainland. So many people came over that at one point, Chinese people made up a third of all of California’s population. And naturally, “native” Americans weren’t pleased about this new race of people competing against them for wealth.

Thus, Yellow Peril in the United States was born, the idea that the “yellow man”--Eastern Asians--are primitive and uncivilized, and thus should be treated at a lesser status than the “white man”. While Yellow Peril existed for generations beforehand, this massive immigration was the main catalyst for its emergence in the states. These beliefs about the newcomers, as well as the implicit xenophobia against them, led Asian Americans to be cast into second-class status.


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Some Republicans say they bungled their fight against Biden's COVID-19 bill. But they still have lawsuits.

President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses are barnstorming the U.S. to promote the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which passed with zero Republican votes but enduring high public approval, even among certain Republican voters. "Conservatives are starting to ask: Did we botch this?" Politico reports. "The overwhelming sentiment within the Republican Party is that voters will turn on the $1.9 trillion bill over time. But that wait-and-see approach has baffled some GOP luminaries," who expected a cogent effort to attack the bill.

"We got beat on this one," one Senate GOP aide told Politico. Several Republicans blamed former President Donald Trump, directly or indirectly. A second Senate GOP aide said there was no oxygen to fight Biden's bill because "we were spending the early part of the year dealing with the insurrection and impeachment trial and then we jumped right into passage."

Attacks that focused on the lack of bipartisan votes ran into the broad bipartisan support among voters and state and local officials who welcomed the $350 billion in local relief. The "liberal wish list" charge never gained traction, and the accusation that many provisions had nothing to do with the pandemic didn't ring true to voters.

The scattered Republican attacks that Democrats are ballooning the deficit fell flat, in part because "Republicans lost credibility on that issue during the Trump years, especially the first couple years when we had the power to do something about it," said GOP consultant Brendan Steinhauser. "It was just, 'let's not even talk about spending or the debt or deficit or anything like that.'" And Republican focus on culture war issues and migrants crossing the border are distractions from the bill, not rebuttals.

Democrats "aren't sweating the politics and, frankly, never were," Politico reports. But 21 GOP state attorneys general on Tuesday threatened to take legal action against the Biden administration over a provision in the ARP designed to prevent states from using the $350 billion in local aid to offset new tax cuts, The Washington Post reports.

The GOP attorneys general asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a letter Tuesday to clarify that the states can proceed with some of their plans to cut taxes, saying if that isn't the case, the ARP "would represent the greatest invasion of state sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic" and they will take "appropriate additional action."

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Liz Cheney’s primary challenger describes impregnating 14-year-old girl at 18 as ‘like the Romeo and Juliet story’

In what he called a "Romeo and Juliet story," U.S. House candidate and Wyoming state Senator Anthony Bouchard revealed late Thursday he had a "relationship with and impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18," reports The Casper Star-Tribune on Friday. Bouchard broke the news himself in a Facebook Live on Thursday, attempting to get "ahead of the story after learning that people were investigating it in opposition to his candidacy," writes the Star-Tribune. The senator is in the midst of challenging Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for her seat in the House, but says he does not believe Cheney's team was involved in digging up the story, the Star-Tribune reports. "Two teenagers, girl gets pregnant," says Bouchard in the Facebook Live video. "You've heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it's like the Romeo and Juliet story." Bouchard did not reveal the girl's age in the Facebook Live video, the Hill reports. Investigators have been hounding my family for weeks and now the liberal fake news is coming out with a hit piece about my teenage years. This is why good people avoid running for office. I won't back down, Swamp! @RepLizCheney Bring it! https://t.co/gaVSm6MkZM — Anthony Bouchard for Congress Against Cheney (@AnthonyBouchard) May 21, 2021 Bouchard says the two married in Florida when he was 19 and she was 15, and divorced three years later. At age 20, the unnamed ex-wife committed suicide, reports the Star-Tribune. "She had problems in another relationship," Bouchard added in his video. "Her dad committed suicide." Bouchard's plans to run for office remain seemingly unaffected: "Bring it on. I’m going to stay in this race," he said to the Star-Tribune. After announcing his candidacy in January, Bouchard reported raising over $300,000 in the first quarter of the year. More at The Casper Star-Tribune. More stories from theweek.comJoe Manchin calls increasingly likely GOP filibuster of Jan. 6 commission 'so dishearteningɺngelina Jolie stands perfectly still, unshowered, covered in bees for World Bee DayBiden infrastructure compromise elicits cold reception from GOP negotiators

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Save the spuds! Senators Fight to Keep Potatoes in School Lunches

A group of senators from potatoe-producing states are working to help reverse the “bad rap” that potatoes have received in recent years and to save the school lunch program from banning or severely limiting spuds in the national school lunch program.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mark Udall, D-Colo., have proposed an amendment to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill that would protect schools’ flexibility in serving healthy fruits and vegetables in the school breakfast and lunch programs.

New guidelines released in January from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would reduce the use of potatoes, including white potatoes, in school lunches, to a total of one cup per week. The rule would also ban starchy vegetables from the School Breakfast Program completely, starting next year.

The senators amendment would prevent the USDA from moving forward by limiting the options of local school districts, what Collins calls an “arbitrary limitation” on spuds. Collins says that this would amount to discrimination against a vegetable with more potassium than a banana, which is cholesterol free, low and fat and sodium and “can be served in countless healthy ways.”

The senators argue against the significant costs that school districts would incur if they couldn’t use potatoes, which are cheap when compared to other vegetables, in school meals.

“I’ve heard from school lunch providers in Colorado that this restriction would result in significant challenges for food service operations through increased costs, reduced flexibility and decreased school meal participation, ” Udall. ”In some areas increased flexibility to serve this nutritious and available vegetable can actually help schools manage cost so they can help afford to purchase other more expensive vegetables.

Collins’ office says she is working with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to encourage schools to find better ways to prepare the potato, rather than ban or severely limit it.

“USDA should not limit their availability but instead should encourage their healthy preparation,” Collins said.


COVID-19 hate crimes bill to fight Asian American discrimination passes Senate

Democrats are pushing for legislation that aims to combat hate crimes against Asian Americans and strengthen hate crime reporting. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The Senate passed with overwhelming bipartisan support a hate crimes bill to address a drastic increase in violence and discrimination directed at Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act cleared the chamber in a 94-1 vote Thursday. It would expedite the Justice Department's review of hate crimes and would designate an official at the department to oversee the effort.

It also would task the department with coordinating with local law enforcement groups and community-based organizations to facilitate and raise awareness about hate crime reporting, including establishing an online hate crime reporting system in multiple languages.

The legislation, which now heads to the Democratic-led House, is one of the few bills to pass this Senate with support from both Republicans and Democrats. Many Democrats expected a legislative fight, but Republicans signaled early their willingness to compromise on the legislation, and senators from both parties have been negotiating for weeks.

The expanded legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, underwent several bipartisan changes before its final passage.

Speaking from the Senate floor Thursday, Hirono said that by passing the bill, "we will send a powerful message of solidarity to the AAPI community that the Senate won't be a bystander as anti-Asian violence surges in our country." AAPI refers to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Hate crimes are on the rise against communities of color. In 2019, they reached their highest level in more than a decade. Here’s why. USA TODAY

Both Senate leaders backed the bill.

"The vote today on the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes bill is proof that when the Senate is given the opportunity to work, the Senate can work to solve important issues," Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said from the Senate floor ahead of the vote.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week that as the “proud husband of an Asian American woman, I think this discrimination against Asian Americans is a real problem." McConnell is the husband of Elaine Chao, the former transportation secretary who was born in Taiwan .

One change to the bill from Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, with the backing of Hirono, helped broker and “broaden support” for the legislation by adjusting the bill's language in references of “COVID-19 hate crimes."

The adjustment helped reel in GOP support. Republicans had raised concerns that the first text was too narrow in defining the types of hate crimes.

The amendment would also have the Justice Department issue guidance “aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The bill would expedite the review of hate crimes amid an increase in incidents against the Asian American community. USA TODAY

One other addition to the bill from Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., would establish grants to aid local and state governments to encourage more training on hate crimes for law enforcement, establish hate crime hotlines and allow for a "rehabilitation" effort for perpetrators of hate crimes.

The bill still needs to pass the House to make it to President Joe Biden's desk. It was going to be debated in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, but its chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., postponed that discussion until the Senate voted, meaning the legislation is unlikely to go to a full House vote for at least a few weeks.

“Addressing AAPI hate crimes remains a top priority for House Democrats. We are closely monitoring Senate deliberations, and we will take action on this issue soon,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

For more than a year, reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans have climbed.

Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group tracking hate incidents, said it had received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents across the country since March 2020, compared with roughly 100 incidents annually in previous years. It tracked 987 in the first two months of 2021.

After last month's mass shooting in Georgia that killed eight people – six of whom were women of Asian descent – lawmakers in both chambers of Congress pushed to expedite the legislation and called for quick action.

Another modification made to the legislation, as part of talks with Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., includes adding the names of those eight people killed.

Asian American lawmakers had introduced anti-hate legislation in the last Congress, but other than the House passing a nonbinding resolution condemning anti-Asian bigotry and discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic, no legislation was signed into law.

Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., a co-author of the legislation, said at a rally with Schumer on Monday that "we are finally taking action in Congress” after a year of discrimination that has made many in the AAPI community afraid to use public transit or even leave their homes.

The legislation is supported by Biden and the White House. The president said in March, “It’s time for Congress to codify and expand upon these actions – because every person in our nation deserves to live their lives with safety, dignity and respect."


Contents

Reconstruction and New Deal era Edit

In the 1883 landmark Civil Rights Cases, the United States Supreme Court had ruled that Congress did not have the power to prohibit discrimination in the private sector, thus stripping the Civil Rights Act of 1875 of much of its ability to protect civil rights. [7]

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the legal justification for voiding the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was part of a larger trend by members of the United States Supreme Court to invalidate most government regulations of the private sector, except when dealing with laws designed to protect traditional public morality.

In the 1930s, during the New Deal, the majority of the Supreme Court justices gradually shifted their legal theory to allow for greater government regulation of the private sector under the commerce clause, thus paving the way for the Federal government to enact civil rights laws prohibiting both public and private sector discrimination on the basis of the commerce clause.

Civil Rights Act of 1957 Edit

The Civil Rights Act of 1957, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on September 9, 1957, was the first federal civil rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1875. After the Supreme Court ruled school segregation unconstitutional in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education, Southern Democrats began a campaign of "massive resistance" against desegregation, and even the few moderate white leaders shifted to openly racist positions. [8] [9] Partly in an effort to defuse calls for more far-reaching reforms, Eisenhower proposed a civil rights bill that would increase the protection of African American voting rights. [10]

Despite having a limited impact on African-American voter participation, at a time when black voter registration was just 20%, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 did establish the United States Commission on Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. By 1960, black voting had increased by only 3%, [11] and Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1960, which eliminated certain loopholes left by the 1957 Act.

1963 Kennedy civil rights bill Edit

The 1964 bill was first proposed by United States President John F. Kennedy in his Report to the American People on Civil Rights on June 11, 1963. [12] Kennedy sought legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments"—as well as "greater protection for the right to vote".

Kennedy delivered this speech in the aftermath of the Birmingham campaign and the growing number of demonstrations and protests throughout the southern United States. He was moved to action following the elevated racial tensions and wave of African-American protests in the spring of 1963. [13] In late July, according to a New York Times article, Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers, warned that if Congress failed to pass Kennedy's civil rights bill, the country would face another civil war. [14]

After the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, on August 28, 1963, the organizers visited Kennedy to discuss the civil rights bill. [15] Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, and Walter Reuther attempted to persuade him to support a provision establishing a Fair Employment Practices Commission that would ban discriminatory practices by all federal agencies, unions, and private companies. [15]

Emulating the Civil Rights Act of 1875, Kennedy's civil rights bill included provisions to ban discrimination in public accommodations and enable the U.S. Attorney General to join in lawsuits against state governments that operated segregated school systems, among other provisions. But it did not include a number of provisions deemed essential by civil rights leaders, including protection against police brutality, ending discrimination in private employment, or granting the Justice Department power to initiate desegregation or job discrimination lawsuits. [16]

House of Representatives Edit

On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy met with Republican leaders to discuss the legislation before his television address to the nation that evening. Two days later, Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen and Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield both voiced support for the president's bill, except for provisions guaranteeing equal access to places of public accommodations. This led to several Republican Representatives drafting a compromise bill to be considered. On June 19, the president sent his bill to Congress as it was originally written, saying legislative action was "imperative". [17] [18] The president's bill went first to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Emanuel Celler, a Democrat from New York. After a series of hearings on the bill, Celler's committee strengthened the act, adding provisions to ban racial discrimination in employment, providing greater protection to black voters, eliminating segregation in all publicly owned facilities (not just schools), and strengthening the anti-segregation clauses regarding public facilities such as lunch counters. They also added authorization for the Attorney General to file lawsuits to protect individuals against the deprivation of any rights secured by the Constitution or U.S. law. In essence, this was the controversial "Title III" that had been removed from the 1957 Act and 1960 Act. Civil rights organizations pressed hard for this provision because it could be used to protect peaceful protesters and black voters from police brutality and suppression of free speech rights. [16]

Kennedy called the congressional leaders to the White House in late October 1963 to line up the necessary votes in the House for passage. [19] The bill was reported out of the Judiciary Committee in November 1963 and referred to the Rules Committee, whose chairman, Howard W. Smith, a Democrat and staunch segregationist from Virginia, indicated his intention to keep the bill bottled up indefinitely.

Johnson's appeal to Congress Edit

The assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, changed the political situation. Kennedy's successor as president, Lyndon B. Johnson, made use of his experience in legislative politics, along with the bully pulpit he wielded as president, in support of the bill. In his first address to a joint session of Congress on November 27, 1963, Johnson told the legislators, "No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy's memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long." [20]

Judiciary Committee chairman Celler filed a petition to discharge the bill from the Rules Committee [16] it required the support of a majority of House members to move the bill to the floor. Initially, Celler had a difficult time acquiring the signatures necessary, with many Representatives who supported the civil rights bill itself remaining cautious about violating normal House procedure with the rare use of a discharge petition. By the time of the 1963 winter recess, 50 signatures were still needed.

After the return of Congress from its winter recess, however, it was apparent that public opinion in the North favored the bill and that the petition would acquire the necessary signatures. To avert the humiliation of a successful discharge petition, Chairman Smith relented and allowed the bill to pass through the Rules Committee. [16]

Lobbying efforts Edit

Lobbying support for the Civil Rights Act was coordinated by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of 70 liberal and labor organizations. The principal lobbyists for the Leadership Conference were civil rights lawyer Joseph L. Rauh Jr. and Clarence Mitchell Jr. of the NAACP. [21]

Passage in the Senate Edit

Johnson, who wanted the bill passed as soon as possible, ensured that the bill would be quickly considered by the Senate. Normally, the bill would have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by United States Senator James O. Eastland, Democrat from Mississippi. Given Eastland's firm opposition, it seemed impossible that the bill would reach the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield took a novel approach to prevent the bill from being relegated to Judiciary Committee limbo. Having initially waived a second reading of the bill, which would have led to it being immediately referred to Judiciary, Mansfield gave the bill a second reading on February 26, 1964, and then proposed, in the absence of precedent for instances when a second reading did not immediately follow the first, that the bill bypass the Judiciary Committee and immediately be sent to the Senate floor for debate.

When the bill came before the full Senate for debate on March 30, 1964, the "Southern Bloc" of 18 southern Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator (John Tower of Texas) led by Richard Russell (D-GA) launched a filibuster to prevent its passage. [23] Said Russell: "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states." [24]

Strong opposition to the bill also came from Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC): "This so-called Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary, unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason. This is the worst civil-rights package ever presented to the Congress and is reminiscent of the Reconstruction proposals and actions of the radical Republican Congress." [25]

After 54 days of filibuster, Senators Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), Mike Mansfield (D-MT), Everett Dirksen (R-IL), and Thomas Kuchel (R-CA), introduced a substitute bill that they hoped would attract enough Republican swing votes in addition to the core liberal Democrats behind the legislation to end the filibuster. The compromise bill was weaker than the House version in regard to government power to regulate the conduct of private business, but it was not so weak as to cause the House to reconsider the legislation. [26]

On the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) completed a filibustering address that he had begun 14 hours and 13 minutes earlier opposing the legislation. Until then, the measure had occupied the Senate for 60 working days, including six Saturdays. A day earlier, Democratic Whip Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, the bill's manager, concluded he had the 67 votes required at that time to end the debate and end the filibuster. With six wavering senators providing a four-vote victory margin, the final tally stood at 71 to 29. Never in history had the Senate been able to muster enough votes to cut off a filibuster on a civil rights bill. And only once in the 37 years since 1927 had it agreed to cloture for any measure. [27]

The most dramatic moment during the cloture vote came when Senator Clair Engle (D-CA) was wheeled into the chamber. Engle, suffering from terminal brain cancer, was unable to speak when his name was called, he pointed to his left eye, signifying his affirmative vote. Engle died seven weeks later.

On June 19, the substitute (compromise) bill passed the Senate by a vote of 73–27, and quickly passed through the House–Senate conference committee, which adopted the Senate version of the bill. The conference bill was passed by both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964. [28]

Vote totals Edit

Totals are in YeaNay format:

  • The original House version: 290–130 (69–31%)
  • Cloture in the Senate: 71–29 (71–29%)
  • The Senate version: 73–27 (73–27%)
  • The Senate version, as voted on by the House: 289–126 (70–30%)

By party Edit

The original House version: [29]

The Senate version, voted on by the House: [29]

By region Edit

Note that "Southern", as used here, refers to members of Congress from the eleven states that had made up the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. "Northern" refers to members from the other 39 states, regardless of the geographic location of those states. [31]

The House of Representatives: [31]

  • Northern: 72–6 (92–8%)
  • Southern: 1–21 (5–95%) – Ralph Yarborough of Texas was the only Southerner to vote in favor in the Senate

By party and region Edit

The House of Representatives: [3] [31]

  • Southern Democrats: 8–83 (9–91%) – four Representatives from Texas (Jack Brooks, Albert Thomas, J. J. Pickle, and Henry González), two from Tennessee (Richard Fulton and Ross Bass), Claude Pepper of Florida and Charles L. Weltner of Georgia voted in favor
  • Southern Republicans: 0–11 (0–100%)
  • Northern Democrats: 145–8 (95–5%)
  • Northern Republicans: 136–24 (85–15%)

Note that four Representatives voted Present while 12 did not vote.

  • Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%) – only Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor
  • Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%) – John Tower of Texas, the only Southern Republican at the time, voted against
  • Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%) – only Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted against
  • Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%) – Norris Cotton (NH), Barry Goldwater (AZ), Bourke Hickenlooper (IA), Edwin Mecham (NM), and Milward Simpson (WY) voted against

Aspects Edit

Women's rights Edit

Just one year earlier, the same Congress had passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibited wage differentials based on sex. The prohibition on sex discrimination was added to the Civil Rights Act by Howard W. Smith, a powerful Virginia Democrat who chaired the House Rules Committee and who strongly opposed the legislation. Smith's amendment was passed by a teller vote of 168 to 133. Historians debate Smith's motivation, whether it was a cynical attempt to defeat the bill by someone opposed to civil rights both for blacks and women, or an attempt to support their rights by broadening the bill to include women. [33] [34] [35] [36] Smith expected that Republicans, who had included equal rights for women in their party's platform since 1944, [37] would probably vote for the amendment. Historians speculate that Smith was trying to embarrass northern Democrats who opposed civil rights for women because the clause was opposed by labor unions. Representative Carl Elliott of Alabama later claimed "Smith didn't give a damn about women's rights", as "he was trying to knock off votes either then or down the line because there was always a hard core of men who didn't favor women's rights", [38] and the Congressional Record records that Smith was greeted by laughter when he introduced the amendment. [39]

Smith asserted that he was not joking and he sincerely supported the amendment. Along with Representative Martha Griffiths, [40] he was the chief spokesperson for the amendment. [39] For twenty years, Smith had sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment (with no linkage to racial issues) in the House because he believed in it. He for decades had been close to the National Woman's Party and its leader Alice Paul, who was also the leader in winning the right to vote for women in 1920, the author of the first Equal Rights Amendment, and a chief supporter of equal rights proposals since then. She and other feminists had worked with Smith since 1945 trying to find a way to include sex as a protected civil rights category and felt now was the moment. [41] Griffiths argued that the new law would protect black women but not white women, and that was unfair to white women. Furthermore, she argued that the laws "protecting" women from unpleasant jobs were actually designed to enable men to monopolize those jobs, and that was unfair to women who were not allowed to try out for those jobs. [42] The amendment passed with the votes of Republicans and Southern Democrats. The final law passed with the votes of Republicans and Northern Democrats. Thus, as Justice William Rehnquist explained in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, "The prohibition against discrimination based on sex was added to Title VII at the last minute on the floor of the House of Representatives [. ] the bill quickly passed as amended, and we are left with little legislative history to guide us in interpreting the Act's prohibition against discrimination based on 'sex. ' " [43]

Desegregation Edit

One of the most damaging arguments by the bill's opponents was that once passed, the bill would require forced busing to achieve certain racial quotas in schools. [44] Proponents of the bill, such as Emanuel Celler and Jacob Javits, said that the bill would not authorize such measures. Leading sponsor Senator Hubert Humphrey (D-MN) wrote two amendments specifically designed to outlaw busing. [44] Humphrey said, "if the bill were to compel it, it would be a violation [of the Constitution], because it would be handling the matter on the basis of race and we would be transporting children because of race." [44] While Javits said any government official who sought to use the bill for busing purposes "would be making a fool of himself," two years later the Department of Health, Education and Welfare said that Southern school districts would be required to meet mathematical ratios of students by busing. [44]

Political repercussions Edit

The bill divided and engendered a long-term change in the demographic support of both parties. President Kennedy realized that supporting this bill would risk losing the South's overwhelming support of the Democratic Party. Both Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Vice President Johnson had pushed for the introduction of the civil rights legislation. Johnson told Kennedy aide Ted Sorensen that "I know the risks are great and we might lose the South, but those sorts of states may be lost anyway." [45] Senator Richard Russell, Jr. later warned President Johnson that his strong support for the civil rights bill "will not only cost you the South, it will cost you the election". [46] Johnson, however, went on to win the 1964 election by one of the biggest landslides in American history. The South, which had five states swing Republican in 1964, became a stronghold of the Republican Party by the 1990s. [47]

Although majorities in both parties voted for the bill, there were notable exceptions. Though he opposed forced segregation, [48] Republican 1964 presidential candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, voted against the bill, remarking, "You can't legislate morality." Goldwater had supported previous attempts to pass civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 as well as the 24th Amendment outlawing the poll tax. He stated that the reason for his opposition to the 1964 bill was Title II, which in his opinion violated individual liberty and states' rights. Democrats and Republicans from the Southern states opposed the bill and led an unsuccessful 83-day filibuster, including Senators Albert Gore, Sr. (D-TN) and J. William Fulbright (D-AR), as well as Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), who personally filibustered for 14 hours straight.

Continued resistance Edit

There were white business owners who claimed that Congress did not have the constitutional authority to ban segregation in public accommodations. For example, Moreton Rolleston, the owner of a motel in Atlanta, Georgia, said he should not be forced to serve black travelers, saying, "the fundamental question [. ] is whether or not Congress has the power to take away the liberty of an individual to run his business as he sees fit in the selection and choice of his customers". [49] Rolleston claimed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a breach of the Fourteenth Amendment and also violated the Fifth and Thirteenth Amendments by depriving him of "liberty and property without due process". [49] In Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964), the Supreme Court held that Congress drew its authority from the Constitution's Commerce Clause, rejecting Rolleston's claims.

Resistance to the public accommodation clause continued for years on the ground, especially in the South. [50] When local college students in Orangeburg, South Carolina, attempted to desegregate a bowling alley in 1968, they were violently attacked, leading to rioting and what became known as the "Orangeburg massacre." [51] Resistance by school boards continued into the next decade, with the most significant declines in black-white school segregation only occurring at the end of the 1960s and the start of the 1970s in the aftermath of the Green v. County School Board of New Kent County (1968) court decision. [52]

Later impact on LGBT rights Edit

In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in three cases (Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which barred employers from discriminating on the basis of sex, also barred employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. [53] Afterward, USA Today stated that in addition to LGBTQ employment discrimination, "[t]he court's ruling is likely to have a sweeping impact on federal civil rights laws barring sex discrimination in education, health care, housing and financial credit." [54] On June 23, 2020, Queer Eye actors Jonathan Van Ness and Bobby Berk praised the Civil Right Act rulings, which Van Ness called "a great step in the right direction." [55] But both of them still urged the United States Congress to pass the proposed Equality Act, which Berk claimed would amend the Civil Rights Act so it "would really extend healthcare and housing rights". [55]

Title I—voting rights Edit

This title barred unequal application of voter registration requirements. Title I did not eliminate literacy tests, which acted as one barrier for black voters, other racial minorities, and poor whites in the South or address economic retaliation, police repression, or physical violence against nonwhite voters. While the Act did require that voting rules and procedures be applied equally to all races, it did not abolish the concept of voter "qualification". It accepted the idea that citizens do not have an automatic right to vote but would have to meet standards beyond citizenship. [56] [57] [58] The Voting Rights Act of 1965 directly addressed and eliminated most voting qualifications beyond citizenship. [56]

Title II—public accommodations Edit

Outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce exempted private clubs without defining the term "private". [59]

Title III—desegregation of public facilities Edit

Prohibited state and municipal governments from denying access to public facilities on grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin.

Title IV—desegregation of public education Edit

Enforced the desegregation of public schools and authorized the U.S. Attorney General to file suits to enforce said act.

Title V—Commission on Civil Rights Edit

Expanded the Civil Rights Commission established by the earlier Civil Rights Act of 1957 with additional powers, rules and procedures.

Title VI—nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs Edit

Prevents discrimination by programs and activities that receive federal funds. If a recipient of federal funds is found in violation of Title VI, that recipient may lose its federal funding.

This title declares it to be the policy of the United States that discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin shall not occur in connection with programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance and authorizes and directs the appropriate Federal departments and agencies to take action to carry out this policy. This title is not intended to apply to foreign assistance programs. Section 601 – This section states the general principle that no person in the United States shall be excluded from participation in or otherwise discriminated against on the ground of race, color, or national origin under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Section 602 directs each Federal agency administering a program of Federal financial assistance by way of grant, contract, or loan to take action pursuant to rule, regulation, or order of general applicability to effectuate the principle of section 601 in a manner consistent with the achievement of the objectives of the statute authorizing the assistance. In seeking the effect compliance with its requirements imposed under this section, an agency is authorized to terminate or to refuse to grant or to continue assistance under a program to any recipient as to whom there has been an express finding pursuant to a hearing of a failure to comply with the requirements under that program, and it may also employ any other means authorized by law. However, each agency is directed first to seek compliance with its requirements by voluntary means.

Section 603 provides that any agency action taken pursuant to section 602 shall be subject to such judicial review as would be available for similar actions by that agency on other grounds. Where the agency action consists of terminating or refusing to grant or to continue financial assistance because of a finding of a failure of the recipient to comply with the agency's requirements imposed under section 602, and the agency action would not otherwise be subject to judicial review under existing law, judicial review shall nevertheless be available to any person aggrieved as provided in section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 1009). The section also states explicitly that in the latter situation such agency action shall not be deemed committed to unreviewable agency discretion within the meaning of section 10. The purpose of this provision is to obviate the possible argument that although section 603 provides for review in accordance with section 10, section 10 itself has an exception for action "committed to agency discretion," which might otherwise be carried over into section 603. It is not the purpose of this provision of section 603, however, otherwise to alter the scope of judicial review as presently provided in section 10(e) of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The December 11, 2019 executive order on combating antisemitism states: "While Title VI does not cover discrimination based on religion, individuals who face discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin do not lose protection under Title VI for also being a member of a group that shares common religious practices. Discrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individual’s race, color, or national origin. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to enforce Title VI against prohibited forms of discrimination rooted in antisemitism as vigorously as against all other forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI." The order specifies that agencies responsible for Title VI enforcement shall "consider" the (non-legally binding) working definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) on May 26, 2016, as well as the IHRA list of Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism, "to the extent that any examples might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent". [60]

Title VII—equal employment opportunity Edit

Title VII of the Act, codified as Subchapter VI of Chapter 21 of title 42 of the United States Code, prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 [61] ). Title VII applies to and covers an employer "who has fifteen (15) or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year" as written in the Definitions section under 42 U.S.C. §2000e(b). Title VII also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, such as by an interracial marriage. [62] The EEO Title VII has also been supplemented with legislation prohibiting pregnancy, age, and disability discrimination (see Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, [63] Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

In very narrowly defined situations, an employer is permitted to discriminate on the basis of a protected trait if the trait is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. To make a BFOQ defense, an employer must prove three elements: a direct relationship between the trait and the ability to perform the job the BFOQ's relation to the "essence" or "central mission of the employer's business", and that there is no less restrictive or reasonable alternative (United Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 499 U.S. 187 (1991) 111 S.Ct. 1196). BFOQ is an extremely narrow exception to the general prohibition of discrimination based on protected traits (Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977) 97 S.Ct. 2720). An employer or customer's preference for an individual of a particular religion is not sufficient to establish a BFOQ (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kamehameha School—Bishop Estate, 990 F.2d 458 (9th Cir. 1993)).

Title VII allows any employer, labor organization, joint labor-management committee, or employment agency to bypass the "unlawful employment practice" for any person involved with the Communist Party of the United States or of any other organization required to register as a Communist-action or Communist-front organization by final order of the Subversive Activities Control Board pursuant to the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950. [64]

There are partial and whole exceptions to Title VII for four types of employers:

  • Federal government (the proscriptions against employment discrimination under Title VII are now applicable to certain federal government offices under 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e-16)
  • Federally recognized Native American tribes [65]
  • Religious groups performing work connected to the group's activities, including associated education institutions
  • Bona fide nonprofit private membership organizations

The Bennett Amendment is a US labor law provision in Title VII that limits sex discrimination claims regarding pay to the rules in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. It says an employer can "differentiate upon the basis of sex" when it compensates employees "if such differentiation is authorized by" the Equal Pay Act.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as certain state fair employment practices agencies (FEPAs), enforce Title VII (see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-4). [61] The EEOC and state FEPAs investigate, mediate, and may file lawsuits on employees' behalf. Where a state law contradicts a federal law, it is overridden. [66] Every state except Arkansas and Mississippi maintains a state FEPA (see EEOC and state FEPA directory ). Title VII also provides that an individual can bring a private lawsuit. They must file a complaint of discrimination with the EEOC within 180 days of learning of the discrimination or they may lose the right to file suit. Title VII applies only to employers who employ 15 or more employees for 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding calendar year (42 U.S.C. § 2000e#b).

Administrative precedents Edit

In 2012, the EEOC ruled that employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity or transgender status is prohibited under Title VII. The decision held that discrimination on the basis of gender identity qualified as discrimination on the basis of sex whether the discrimination was due to sex stereotyping, discomfort with a transition, or discrimination due to a perceived change in the individual's sex. [67] [68] In 2014, the EEOC initiated two lawsuits against private companies for discrimination on the basis of gender identity, with additional litigation under consideration. [69] As of November 2014 [update] , Commissioner Chai Feldblum is making an active effort to increase awareness of Title VII remedies for individuals discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. [70] [71] [ needs update ]

On December 15, 2014, under a memorandum issued by Attorney General Eric Holder, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) took a position aligned with the EEOC's, namely that the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title VII encompassed the prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity or transgender status. DOJ had already stopped opposing claims of discrimination brought by federal transgender employees. [72] The EEOC in 2015 reissued another non-binding memo, reaffirming its stance that sexual orientation was protected under Title VII. [73]

In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew the Holder memorandum. [74] According to a copy of Sessions' directive reviewed by BuzzFeed News, he stated that Title VII should be narrowly interpreted to cover discrimination between "men and women". Sessions stated that as a matter of law, "Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se." [75] Devin O'Malley, on behalf of the DOJ, said, "the last administration abandoned that fundamental principle [that the Department of Justice cannot expand the law beyond what Congress has provided], which necessitated today's action." Sharon McGowan, a lawyer with Lambda Legal who previously served in the Civil Rights division of DOJ, rejected that argument, saying "[T]his memo is not actually a reflection of the law as it is—it's a reflection of what the DOJ wishes the law were" and "The Justice Department is actually getting back in the business of making anti-transgender law in court." [74] But the EEOC did not change its stance, putting it at odds with the DOJ in certain cases. [73]

Title VIII—registration and voting statistics Edit

Required compilation of voter-registration and voting data in geographic areas specified by the Commission on Civil Rights.

Title IX—intervention and removal of cases Edit

Title IX made it easier to move civil rights cases from U.S. state courts to federal court. This was of crucial importance to civil rights activists [ who? ] who contended that they could not get fair trials in state courts. [ citation needed ]

Title X—Community Relations Service Edit

Established the Community Relations Service, tasked with assisting in community disputes involving claims of discrimination.

Title XI—miscellaneous Edit

Title XI gives a defendant accused of certain categories of criminal contempt in a matter arising under title II, III, IV, V, VI, or VII of the Act the right to a jury trial. If convicted, the defendant can be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than six months.

Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 Edit

Between 1965 and 1972, Title VII lacked any strong enforcement provisions. Instead, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was authorized only to investigate external claims of discrimination. The EEOC could then refer cases to the Justice Department for litigation if reasonable cause was found. The EEOC documented the nature and magnitude of discriminatory employment practices, the first study of this kind done.

In 1972, Congress passed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. [76] The Act amended Title VII and gave EEOC authority to initiate its own enforcement litigation. The EEOC now played a major role in guiding judicial interpretations of civil rights legislation. The commission was also permitted for the first time to define "discrimination," a term excluded from the 1964 Act. [77]

Title II case law Edit

Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States (1964) Edit

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, the Supreme Court upheld the law's application to the private sector, on the grounds that Congress has the power to regulate commerce between the States. The landmark case Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States established the law's constitutionality, but did not settle all the legal questions surrounding it.


The Irish US senator who served three states and (almost) fought a duel with Lincoln

In a year when elections and politics are foremost in peoples' minds, it is worth remembering the amazing career of Shields (May 10, 1810 – June 1, 1879), an American politician and United States Army officer, who was born in Altmore, County Tyrone, Ireland.

Shields, a Democrat, is the only person in United States history to serve as a U.S. Senator for three different states.

Shields represented Illinois from 1849 to 1855, Minnesota from 1858 to 1859, and Missouri in 1879.

Read more

The Tyrone-born Shields was the nephew of another James Shields, also born in Ireland, who was a congressman from Ohio. The younger Shields came to the United States around 1826 and settled in Illinois where he studied and later practiced law. In 1839 he was named Illinois State Auditor. He was not the most popular auditor, especially with a Republican rising star, one Abraham Lincoln.

Shields almost fought a duel with Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1842. Wikipedia noted that Lincoln had published an inflammatory letter in a Springfield, Illinois, newspaper, the Sangamon Journal, that poked fun at Shields, the State Auditor.

Lincoln's future wife and her close friend, continued writing letters about Shields without his knowledge. Offended by the articles, Shields demanded "satisfaction" and the incident escalated to the two parties meeting on a Missouri island called Sunflower Island, near Alton, IL to participate in a duel (as dueling was illegal in Illinois).

Lincoln took responsibility for the articles and accepted the duel. Lincoln had the opportunity to choose the weapon for the duel and he selected the cavalry broadsword, as Shields was an excellent marksman.

Just prior to engaging in combat, Lincoln made it a point to demonstrate his advantage (because of his long-arm reach) by easily cutting a branch just above Shields' head. The two participants' seconds intervened and were able to convince the two men to cease hostilities, on the grounds that Lincoln had not written the letters.

On July 1, 1846, Shields was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers to fight in the Mexican–American War. He served under Zachary Taylor along the Rio Grande.

Following the war in 1848, he ran for the Senate from Illinois. His election was voided by the Senate on the grounds that he had not been a United States citizen for the nine years required by the United States Constitution: having been naturalized on October 21, 1840. He returned to Illinois and campaigned for re-election, and won the special election to replace himself, and was then seated.

In 1855, he was defeated for re-election, so he moved to Minnesota. He was elected as one of the two first Senators from that state, but his term was only from 1858 to 1859, and he was not re-elected.

Read more

Shields then moved to California and served as a brigadier general of volunteers from that state during the American Civil War. He commanded the 2nd Division of the V Corps, Army of the Potomac and was wounded at the Battle of Kernstown on March 22, 1862, but his troops inflicted the only tactical defeat of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson during the campaign.

In 1866 Shields moved to Missouri, and in 1879, he was elected to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Senator Lewis V. Bogy. He served only three months and declined to run for re-election.

Shields died in Ottumwa, Iowa on June 1, 1879. He is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Carrollton, Missouri.

* Originally published in 2015.

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Merrick Garland vows to fight discrimination, domestic extremism as attorney general

Merrick Garland Merrick GarlandSusan Sarandon and Marianne Williamson call for justice in Steven Donziger case Senate panel advances Biden's first group of judicial nominees President Biden can prevent over 4,000 people from being sent back to prison MORE , President Biden Joe BidenJudge agrees to unseal 2020 ballots in Georgia county for audit George Floyd's family to visit White House on Tuesday Biden: US will provide vaccinations for South Korean service members MORE 's pick for attorney general, is vowing to see that the Justice Department roots out domestic political extremism and fights discrimination in the criminal justice system if he is confirmed by the Senate.

"It is a fitting time to reaffirm that the role of the Attorney General is to serve the Rule of Law and to ensure equal justice under the law," Garland will say as part of his prepared remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. "And it is a fitting time to recognize the more than 115,000 career employees of the Department and its law enforcement agencies, and their commitment to serve the cause of justice and protect the safety of our communities."

The former judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals, whose confirmation hearings before the panel begin this week, has faced intense pressure from progressives to prosecute President Trump Donald TrumpJudge agrees to unseal 2020 ballots in Georgia county for audit Biden: 'Simply wrong' for Trump DOJ to seek journalists' phone records Biden dismisses question on UFOs MORE and his associates for alleged crimes while committed before and during his time in office.

“If we want accountability for Trump and his criminal network, we cannot just depend on Democratic leaders,” a statement from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said earlier this month. “We need to push them. A lot.”

Garland is slated to reference the deadly rioting by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in his opening remarks and to compare the incident to the Oklahoma City bombing in the late 1990s.

"From 1995 to 1997, I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the federal government," he will say. "If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 -- a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government."

Garland will also say he plans to address systemic racism in policing and help the Biden administration achieve criminal justice reform.

"The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the Department's Civil Rights Division, with the mission "to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society," Garland will tell the committee. "That mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice. Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system and bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change."

The American Civil Liberties Union has also pressed Biden and an upcoming Garland Justice Department to be aggressive in seeking reform.

“Your nomination comes at a moment when America faces an overdue reckoning with racial injustice that can start to be addressed with policies such as adopting a federal use-of-force standard, decriminalizing marijuana, and ending mandatory minimum sentences,” Cynthia Roseberry, the deputy director for policy at the ACLU wrote in a letter to Garland this month, asking him to make sure the Justice Department “will adopt policies to build a more racially just criminal legal system.”

In 2016, Republicans refused to give Garland a hearing as former President Obama's Supreme Court nominee because they argued the winner of that year’s presidential election should fill the vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.


Watch the video: Ουάσινγκτον: Άρχισε η δίκη για την αποπομπή του Ντόναλντ Τραμπ (November 2021).