There were 11 titles in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 consisting of Voting (I), Public Accommodations (II), Public Facilities (III), School Desegregation (IV), Commission on Civil Rights (V), Discrimination by Government Programs (VI), Discrimination by Private Employers (VII), Voters and Fair Housing (VIII), Removal to Federal Court (IX), Community Relations Service (X) and Criminal Contempt (XI). Although it was the most comprehensive Civil Rights law that Congress had ever enacted, there were still problems regarding voting that were later addressed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
What was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and what did it do??
What did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 do? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended the power of the Jim Crow laws segregation and racial discrimination
What prompted the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was prompted by the actions taken by members of the Civil Rights Movement including the massive 1963 March on Washington.
Which area was not covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The area of voting was not fully covered in Civil Rights Act of 1964. This omission led to the Selma marches and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Facts about Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Movement had gained success with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock Nine but the violent events surrounding the protests of the Freedom Riders and the riots in Birmingham, Alabama highlighted the strength of white opposition to the de-segregation of education and transport facilities.
President Kennedy was outraged at the violence and level of brutality used in Birmingham and ordered his administration to prepare a new Civil Rights Bill.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders, realized that President Kennedy would have difficulty pushing the new Civil Rights Bill through Congress and organized the March on Washington on August 28, 1963 to rally further support and apply pressure to the government.
MLK was correct in envisaging problems with getting the bill passed. The new Civil Rights Bill was likely to pass the House of Representatives where the majority of Republicans, together with Northern Democrats supported the bill. The problem came with the Senate.
In the Senate a group of hard-line Senators wanted to block the new Civil Rights Bill indefinitely. And they had the means to do this by using the process called a Filibuster.
Filibuster Definition: In the United States senate, a vote cannot be made on a bill until all all senators have finished speaking - and during such a debate senators are allowed to speak as long as they want to. A filibuster is when a group of Senators refuse to stop a debate to allow a bill to come to a vote. At the time, a 'filibuster' could only be stopped if at least 67 Senators voted for 'cloture', meaning a motion to stop a debate and force a vote.
A minority of Senators were therefore able to stop the new Civil Rights Act from being passed. Then President Kennedy was assassinated, on November 22, 1963 and his vice-president, Lyndon B. Johnson, became president.
President Lyndon B. Johnson supported Kennedy's Civil Rights bill and began to place pressure on members of Congress. In February 1964 the bill was passed by the House of Representatives by a majority of 290 to 130.
The new Civil Rights bill then moved to the Senate. After 87 days of the southern filibuster the Senate ended the debate in June 1964 when 71 senators, four more than the two thirds that were needed, voted for cloture.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law on July 2, 1964 that would end racial discrimination in employment, education, transportation, restaurants, parks and other walks of life
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 contained 11 different titles addressing the issues of Voting (I), Public Accommodations (II), Public Facilities (III), School Desegregation (IV), Commission on Civil Rights (V), Discrimination by Government Programs (VI), Discrimination by Private Employers (VII), Voters and Fair Housing (VIII), Removal to Federal Court (IX), Community Relations Service (X) and Criminal Contempt (XI).
Voting (I): This provision was made to guarantee equal voting rights by removing some registration requirements and procedures
Public Accommodations (II) summary: Prohibits segregation or discrimination, based on race, color, religion, or national origin, in places of private businesses. Title II was based on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3), which gave Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce. (The 14th Amendment does not touch private discrimination in public accommodations).
Public Facilities (III) summary: Created a cause of action for those denied equal access to public facilities on account of race, religion color or national origin.
School Desegregation (IV) summary: This provision gave the federal government more power in encouraging desegregation in public schools.
Commission on Civil Rights (V) summary: This provision gave the Civil Rights Commission, created in the Civil Rights Act of 1957, additional powers to evaluate civil rights issues.
Discrimination by Government Programs (VI) summary: This provision allowed for federally funded programs to potentially have their loans and grants terminated for discriminating on the basis of color, race or national origin.
Discrimination by Private Employers (VII) summary: This provision banned discrimination by schools, trade unions, and employers involved in interstate commerce or conducting business with the federal government. It also prohibited discrimination by private employers based on sex and established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce the provision.
Voter Data (VIII): This provision required that voting data was collected in certain areas specified by the Commission on Civil Rights.
Removal to Federal Court (IX): This provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it easier to move a legal case from state to federal court for fear of prejudiced state courts.
Community Relations Service (X) summary: This provision established the Community Relations Service (CRS) as part of the United States Department of Justice to act as a "Peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color and national origin.
Criminal Contempt (XI) summary: This provision created a criminal contempt punishment for anyone attempting to obstruct the provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 focused on segregation and employment discrimination but failed to fully address voting issues.
The 24th Amendment, ratified January 23, 1964 had helped towards the subject of fair voting, barring Poll taxes making it illegal to make anyone pay a tax to have the right to vote. But there were still many problems relating to voting, African Americans made up almost half the population, but only 2% were registered voters.
Members of organizations working for the Civil Rights movement, such as the SNCC and SCLC, were subjected to extreme acts of violence and intimidation as they intensified their voter registration efforts in the south.
The Selma marches were organized by leaders such as John Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King and resulted in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 being signed into law on August 6, 1965. It purpose was to safeguard the right to vote of Black Americans and ban the use of literacy tests.
Despite its failure to fully address voting issues, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the most comprehensive Civil Rights law that Congress had ever enacted.
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