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However, it did not include a number of provisions deemed essential by civil rights leaders including protection against police brutality, ending discrimination in private employment, or granting the Justice Department power to initiate desegregation or job discrimination lawsuits.On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy met with the Republican leaders to discuss the legislation before his television address to the nation that evening.On June 19, the president sent his bill to Congress as it was originally written, saying legislative action was "imperative".The president's bill went first to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Emanuel Celler, a Democrat from New York.When the bill came before the full Senate for debate on March 30, 1964, the "Southern Bloc" of 18 southern Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator led by Richard Russell (D-GA) launched a filibuster to prevent its passage.Said Russell: "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states." Strong opposition to the bill also came from Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC): "This so-called Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary, unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason.Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.
The Act was signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964, at the White House.
Kennedy was moved to action following the elevated racial tensions and wave of black riots in the spring 1963.
Emulating the Civil Rights Act of 1875, Kennedy's civil rights bill included provisions to ban discrimination in public accommodations, and to enable the U. Attorney General to join in lawsuits against state governments which operated segregated school systems, among other provisions.
in which he asked for legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments", as well as "greater protection for the right to vote".
Kennedy delivered this speech following the immediate aftermath of the Birmingham campaign and the growing number of demonstrations and protests throughout the southern United States.
It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.