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CIVIL RIGHTS, AND A DRAFT OF A BILL TO ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE, TO CONFER JURISDICTION UPON THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES TO PROVIDE INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS, TO AUTHORIZE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INSTITUTE SUITS TO PROTECT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION, TO ESTABLISH A COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE, TO EXTEND FOR FOUR YEARS THE COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS, TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROGRAMS, TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION ON EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

JUNE 19, 1963.-Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and ordered to

be printed

To the Congress of the United States:

Last week I addressed to the American people an appeal to conscience--a request for their cooperation in meeting the growing moral crisis in American race relations. I warned of "a rising tide of discontent that threatens the public safety” in many parts of the country. I emphasized that "the events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or State or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them.” “It is a time to act,” I said, “in the Congress, in State and local legislative bodies and, above all, in all of our daily lives."

In the days that have followed, the predictions of increased violence have been tragically borne out. The "fires of frustration and discord" have burned hotter than ever.

At the same time, the response of the American people to this appeal to their principles and obligations has been reassuring. Private progress-by merchants and unions and local organizations—has been marked, if not uniform, in many areas. Many doors long closed to Negroes, North and South, have been opened. Local biracial committees, under private and public sponsorship, have mushroomed. The mayors of our major cities, whom I earlier addressed, have pledged renewed action. But persisting inequalities and tensions make it clear that Federal action must lead the way, providing both the Nation's standard and a nationwide solution. In short, the time has come for the Congress of the United States to join with the executive and judicial branches in making it clear to all that race has no place in American life or law.

On February 28, I sent to the Congress a message urging the enactment this year of three important pieces of civil rights legislation:

1. Voting.-Legislation to assure the availability to all of a basic and powerful right-the right to vote in a free American electionby providing for the appointment of temporary Federal voting referees while voting suits are proceeding in areas of demonstrated need; by giving such suits preferential and expedited treatment in the Federal courts; by prohibiting in Federal elections the application of different tests and standards to different voter applicants; and by providing that, in voting suits pertaining to such elections, the completion of the sixth grade by any applicant creates a presumption that he is literate. Armed with the full and equal right to vote, our Negro citizens can help win other rights through political channels not now open to them in many areas.

2. Ciril Rights Commission.-Legislation to renew and expand the authority of the Commission on Civil Rights, enabling it to serve as a national civil rights clearinghouse offering information, advice, and technical assistance to any public or private agency that so requests.

3. School desegregation. - Legislation to provide Federal technical and financial assistance to aid school districts in the process of desegregation in compliance with the Constitution.

Other measures introduced in the Congress have also received the support of this administration, including those aimed at assuring equal employment opportunity.

Although these recommendations were transmitted to the Congress some time ago, neither House has yet had an opportunity to vote on any of these essential measures. The Negro's drive for justice, however, has not stood still--nor will it, it is now clear, until full equality is achieved. The growing and understandable dissatisfaction of Negro citizens with the present pace of desegregation, and their increased determination to secure for themselves the equality of opportunity and treatment to which they are rightfully entitled, have underscored what should already have been clear: the necessity of the Congress enacting this year--not only the measures already proposed--but also additional legislation providing legal remedies for the denial of certain individual rights.

The venerable code of equity law commands for every wrong, a remedy." But in too many communities, in too many parts of the country, wrongs are inflicted on Negro citizens for which no effective remedy at law is clearly and readily available. State and local laws may even affirmatively seek to deny the rights to which these citizens

are fairly entitled-and this can result only in a decreased respect for the law and increased violations of the law.

In the continued absence of congressional action, too many State and local officials as well as businessmen will remain unwilling to accord these rights to all citizens. Some local courts and local merchants may well claim to be uncertain of the law, while those merchants who do recognize the justice of the Negro's request (and I believe these constitute the great majority of merchants, North and South) will be fearful of being the first to move, in the face of official, customer, employee, or competitive pressures. Negroes, consequently, can be expected to continue increasingly to seek the vindication of these rights through organized direct action, with all its potentially explosive consequences, such as we have seen in Birmingham, in Philadelphia, in Jackson, in Boston, in Cambridge, Md., and in many other parts of the country.

In short, the result of continued Federal legislative inaction will be continued, if not increased, racial strife-causing the leadership on both sides to pass from the hands of reasonable and responsible

en to the purveyors of hate and violence, endangering domestic tranquillity, retarding our Nation's economic and social progress and weakening the respect with which the rest of the world regards us. No American, I feel sure, would prefer this course of tension, disorder, and division-and the great majority of our citizens simply cannot accept it.

For these reasons, I am proposing that the Congress stay in session this year until it has enacted-preferably as a single omnibus billthe most responsible, reasonable, and urgently needed solutions to this problem, solutions which should be acceptable to all fair-minded men. This bill would be known as the Civil Rights Act of 1963, and would include-in addition to the aforementioned provisions on voting rights and the Civil Rights Commission-additional titles on public accommodations, employment, federally assisted programs, a Community Relations Service, and education, with the latter including my previous recommendation on this subject. In addition, I am requesting certain legislative and budget amendments designed to improve the training, skills, and economic opportunities of the economically distressed and discontented, white and Negro alike. Certain executive actions are also reviewed here; but legislative action is imperative.

I. EQUAL ACCOMMODATIONS IN PUBLIC FACILITIES Events of recent weeks have again underlined how deeply our Negro citizens resent the injustice of being arbitrarily denied equal access to those facilities and accommodations which are otherwise open to the general public. That is a daily insult which has no place in a country proud of its heritage--the heritage of the melting pot, of equal rights, of one nation and one people. No one has been barred on account of his race from fighting or dying for America--there are no "white" or "colored” signs on the foxholes or graveyards of battle. Surely, in 1963, 100 years after emancipation, it should not be necessary for any American citizen to demonstrate in the streets for the opportunity to stop at a hotel, or to eat at a lunch counter in the very department store in which he is shopping, or to enter a motion picture house, on the same terms as any other customer. As I stated in my message to the Congress of February 28, “no action is more contrary to the spirit of our democracy and Constitution or more rightfully resented by a Negro citizen who seeks only equal treatment—than the barring of that citizen from restaurants, hotels, theaters, recreational areas, and other public accommodations and facilities."

The U.S. Government has taken action through the courts and by other means to protect those who are peacefully demonstrating to obtain access to these public facilities; and it has taken action to bring an end to discrimination in rail, bus, and airline terminals, to open up restaurants and other public facilities in all buildings leased as well as owned by the Federal Government, and to assure full equality of access to all federally owned parks, forests, and other recreational areas. When uncontrolled mob action directly threatened the nondiscriminatory use of transportation facilities in May 1961, Federal marshals were employed to restore order and prevent potentially widespread personal and property damage. Growing nationwide concern with this problem, however, makes it clear that further Federal action is needed now to secure the right of all citizens to the full enjoyment of all facilities which are open to the general public.

Such legislation is clearly consistent with the Constitution and with our concepts of both human rights and property rights. The argument that such measures constitute an unconstitutional interference with property rights has consistently been rejected by the courts in upholding laws on zoning, collective bargaining, minimum wages, smoke control, and countless other measures designed to make certain that the use of private property is consistent with the public interest. While the legal situations are not parallel, it is interesting to note that Abraham Lincoln, in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation 100 years ago, was also accused of violating the property rights of slaveowners. Indeed, there is an age-old saying that property has its duties as well as its rights”; and no property owner who holds those premises for the purpose of serving at a profit the American public at large can claim any inherent right to exclude a part of that public on grounds of race or color. Just as the law requires common carriers to serve equally all who wish their services, so it can require public accommodations to accommodate equally all segments of the general public. Both human rights and property rights are foundations of our society-and both will flourish as the result of this measure:

In a society which is increasingly mobile and in an economy which is increasingly interdependent, business establishments which serve the public-such as hotels, restaurants, theaters, stores, and othersserve not only the members of their immediate communities but travelers from other States and visitors from abroad. Their goods come from all over the Nation. This participation in the flow of interstate commerce has given these business establishments both increased prosperity and an increased responsibility to provide equal access and service to all citizens.

Some 30 States, the District of Columbia, and numerous cities covering some two-thirds of this country and well over two-thirds of Alaska, California, Colorado Connecticut, Idaho, liinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermone, Wasb ington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Cities with public accommodations ordinances which are outside the shove 'states include Washington, D.C., Wilmington, Del, Louisville, Ky., El Paso, Ter., Kansas City, Mo., and St. Louis, Mo.

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its people have already enacted laws of varying effectiveness against discrimination in places of public accommodation, many of them in response to the recommendation of President Truman's Committee on Civil Rights in 1947. But while their efforts indicate that legisla

. tion in this area is not extraordinary, the failure of more States to take effective action makes it clear that Federal legislation is necessary. The State and local approach has been tried. The voluntary approach has been tried. But these approaches are insufficient to prevent the free flow of commerce from being arbitrarily and inefficiently restrained and distorted by discrimination in such establishments.

Clearly the Federal Government has both the power and the obligation to eliminate these discriminatory practices: first, because they adversely affect the national economy and the flow of interstate commerce; and secondly, because Congress has been specifically empowered under the 14th amendment to enact legislation making certain that no State law permits or sanctions the unequal protection or treatment of any of its citizens.

There have been increasing public demonstrations of resentment directed against this kind of discrimination-demonstrations which too often breed tension and violence. Only the Federal Government, it is clear, can make these demonstrations unnecessary by providing peaceful remedies for the grievances which set them off.

For these reasons, I am today proposing, as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, a provision to guarantee all citizens equal access to the services and facilities of hotels, restaurants, places of amusement, and retail establishments.

This seems to me to be an elementary right. Its denial is an arbitrary indignity that no American in 1963 should have to endure. The proposal would give the person aggrieved the right to obtain a court order against the offending establishment or persons. Upon receiving a complaint in a case sufficiently important to warrant his conclusion that a suit would materially further the purposes of the act, the Attorney General—if he finds that the aggrieved party is unable to undertake or otherwise arrange for a suit on his own (for lack of financial means or effective representation, or for fear of economic or other injury)--will first refer the case for voluntary settlement to the Community Relations Service described below, give the establishment involved time to correct its practices, permit State and local equal access laws (if any) to operate first, and then, and only then, initiate a suit for compliance. In short, to the extent that these

a unconscionable practices can be corrected by the individual owners, localities, and States (and recent experience demonstrates how effectively and uneventfully this can be done), the Federal Government has no desire to intervene.

But an explosive national problem cannot await city-by-city solutions; and those who loudly abhor Federal action only invite it if they neglect or evade their own obligations.

This provision will open doors in every part of the country which never should have been closed. Its enactment will hasten the end to practices which have no place in a free and united nation, and thus help move this potentially dangerous problem from the streets to the courts.

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