Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
CIVIL RIGHTS BILL, The (IN
—There is a curious likeness, mutatis mutandis, between some of the sections of the bill and the fugitive slave law of 1850.
—The bill was vetoed March 27, and again passed, over the veto, in the senate April 6, and in the house April 9. The constitutional objection to the bill was that the power to pass it could be found nowhere in the constitution except in the 13th amendment (prohibiting slavery), and that this in no way involved the assumption by congress of the duty of protecting the civil rights of citizens, which had always belonged to the states; and, further, that, while the decision in the Dred Scott case stood unimpeached, Negroes might be freed but could not become citizens. Various amendments were proposed in February and March, 1866, for the purpose of overturning the Dred Scott decision. April 30, after the conflict between congress and the president had become flagrant, Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, in the house, reported from a joint committee that which was afterward modified into the 14th amendment. Its first section contained the gist of the resolutions above referred to. It was passed in the senate June 8, by a vote of 33 to 11, and in the house June 13, by a vote of 138 to 36. (See
—Senator Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, was the special champion of an amendment to the preceding act which should prevent common carriers, inn-keepers, theatre-managers, and officers or teachers of schools, from distinguishing blacks from whites; should prevent the exclusion of Negroes from juries; and should give federal courts exclusive congnizance of offenses against it. A bill to this effect was offered by him as an amendment to the amnesty act in 1872 (see
—See 14 Stat. At Large, 27; 16 Wall., 36; 92 U. S., 542; 1 Hughes 536; 92 U. S., 90; 100 U. S., 310, 345.
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