History on Video Civil Rights Act Essay

Submitted By Lester521
Words: 427
Pages: 2

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the nation's benchmark civil rights legislation, and it continues to resonate in America. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Passage of the Act ended the application of "Jim Crow" laws, which had been upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the Court held that racial segregation purported to be "separate but equal" was constitutional. The Civil Rights Act was eventually expanded by Congress to strengthen enforcement of these fundamental civil rights. The House Judiciary Committee held a series of hearings on the proposed legislation during the summer of 1963. The proposed bill was amended during the committee process to broaden the scope of protections. The changes strengthened President Kennedy's original proposal in response to the tumultuous summer of 1963,which saw several incidents of racially motivated violence across the South. The House Judiciary Committee approved the legislation on October 26, 1963, and formally reported it to the full House on November 20, 1963, just two days before President Kennedy was assassinated. On November 27, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson asserted his commitment to President Kennedy's legislative agenda, particularly civil rights legislation. The House of Representatives passed a final version of the Civil Rights Act on February 10, 1964.
The bill came before the Senate in February 1964. Because the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to act on proposed civil rights legislation just seven years earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield filed a procedural motion to prevent the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from being referred to the Committee. Despite opposition to the motion from Senators opposed to the…