Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President on the Objectives of the Civil Rights Bill.

July 16, 1957

I AM GRATIFIED that the Senate, by a vote of 71 to 18 has now made H. R. 6127 the pending business before that body.

This legislation seeks to accomplish these four simple objectives:

1. To protect the constitutional right of all citizens to vote regardless of race or color. In this connection we seek to uphold the traditional authority of the Federal courts to enforce their orders. This means that a jury trial should not be interposed in contempt of court cases growing out of violations of such orders.

2. To provide a reasonable program of assistance in efforts to protect other constitutional rights of our citizens.

3. To establish a bi-partisan Presidential commission to study and recommend any further appropriate steps to protect these constitutional fights.

4. To authorize an additional Assistant Attorney General to administer the legal responsibilities of the Federal Government involving civil rights.

The details of language changes are a legislative matter. I would hope, however, that the Senate, in whatever clarification it may determine to make, will keep the measure an effective piece of legislation to carry out these four objectives--each one of which is consistent with simple justice and equality afforded to every citizen under the Constitution of the United States.

I hope that Senate action on this measure will be accomplished at this session without undue delay.

Note: H. R. 6127, as enacted on September 9, 1957, is Public Law 85-315 (71 Stat. 634).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President on the Objectives of the Civil Rights Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233358

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