Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Definition

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Civil Rights Act of 1964 Definition

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the United States’ broad legislation, whose intention is to bring to end discrimination of people based on their color, race, religion, race, or national origin. The law grants people the right to use public places and schools, equal employment opportunities, and equal rights to vote. The Act is the most important civil rights law in the US since the establishment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

A Little More on What is the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is widely thought-out as one of the biggest accomplishments of the civil rights movement. In the early 1960s, actions in the South such as; the police harshly treating peaceful protestors and killings of civil rights activists, brought national attention.

The gulf between the black people and the white people was widely increasing, causing such kind of events. President John F. Kennedy took up the matter, and in 1963, he called for a civil rights bill. However, all his efforts were in vain.

President JF Kennedy was the first to propose that bill, and the southern members of Congress strongly opposed it. After his assassination, his successor, President Lyndon Johnson, took up the civil rights bill in his first year in office as his top priority. He sought the help of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the NAACP, and the important Congress members like Senators Everett Dirksen and Hubert Humphrey, to secure the passage of the bill.

Also, he sought support from his friends such as Senator Richard Russell, the leader of the southern Democrats, who was the major opposition in the passage of the bill to the end. President Johnson used his power and legislative acumen to fight for the bill’s passage throughout the winter of 1964.

The Senate minority leader and the Republican Senator Dirksen played an important role to ensure the bill passed. On the 2nd of July 1964, after passing the bill in the House and Senate, President Johnson managed to sign the bill into law. The 88th Congress of the United States enforced the passing of the bill.

One can find additional information on the Act’s history and impact on the CongressLink website.

The Long Title of Civil Rights Act of 1964

The entire title of the Act is;

“An act 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 public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.”

One can obtain additional information about the Civil Rights Act from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Sections of The Civil Rights Act of 1964

The law categorizes the Civil Rights Act into eleven sections, they are:

Section I: The act forbids unequal presentation of registration requirements for the voter. One of the requirements that were being used to discourage blacks, poor whites, and other minority groups to vote were literacy tests. The law states that every voter should receive the same qualification tests. Apart from citizenship, the law prohibited other voter qualifications.

Section II: The act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and other accommodations places. However, the act exempted private clubs.

Section III: Banned the local governments and the state government from refuting people’s access to public facilities and property on the grounds of race, color, religion, and national origin.

Section IV: The Act ended the policy of dividing public schools based on racial segregation.

Section V: The act provided room for the enlargement of the Civil Rights Commission, which was formerly created by the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Section VI: The Act banned discrimination from the government agencies which receive federal funds. Discrimination may cause the agencies to lose federal funding.

Section VII: The act widely prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, or religion, by rooting for equal employment opportunities to all employees. Chapter 21, Section 42 of the US Code provides more details of the employment act.

Section VIII: The law requires the compilation of voter registration and voter data in specific areas.

Section IX: The Act gave the public the chance to change the courts where their civil rights cases will be heard, from state courts to federal courts.

Section X: Established the Community Relations Service to help in solving claims involving discrimination.

Section XI: Any defendant accused of violating the Civil Rights Act is allowed a trial by the jury, and the Act also sets their penalties.

Reference for “Civil Rights Act of 1964”

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