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imposed by the 15th amendment which provides that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged * * * by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Any bill which has for its object the establishing of additional Federal qualifications for voting, other than those established by the States, represents an invasion of the rights of the States. Unlimited time, subject only to the rule governing cloture, should be permitted any Senator who wishes to speak on this bill. The present rule relating to cloture should be maintained in its present form and not altered to stifle, limit or gag debate. It is a historical fact that the antislavery movement was strengthened and grew rapidly by reason of the passage of the gag rule shutting off antislavery petitions introduced by John Quincy Adams after 1831 when he became a Member of Congress.
We want every Senator to have unlimited time for debate until cloture as provided by Senate rule XXII is invoked.
5. In the space of 168 years only 22 amendments have been added to the United States Constitution. The Constitution wisely provides in article V that Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses, not a majority, shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, which amendments must be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States and not by a majority. The framers were resolved to protect the rights of the minority from any amendments which would alter or abridge rights guaranteed them in the Constitution.
By the same principle the Senate should not amend rule XXII as proposed and thereby abridge the right of the minority to free and unlimited debate.
The proposed change of rule XXII does violence to the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution.
For the reasons above stated, the Sons of Confederate Veterans are opposed to the proposed amendments to rule XXII, and we earnestly request and strongly urge that rule XXII be maintained in its present form. Respectfully submitted.
WILLIAM M. BEARD, Past Commander in Chief.
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM,
Washington, D.O., July 15, 1957. Senator JACOB JAVITS,
Chairman, Special Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Rules and
Administration, Senate Office Building, Washington, D. O. DEAR SENATOR JAVITS: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom wishes to file a statement on the question of amending rule XXII. We respectfully request your permission to have our statement included in the hearings being conducted at this time. Respectfully yours,
Mrs. ANNALEE STEWART, Legislative Secretary, United States Section.
STATEMENT OF POSITION OF THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND
FREEDOM, UNITED STATES SECTION, RE REVISION OF SENATE RULE XXII The United States section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom submits herewith its views in support of revision of Senate rule XXII, and urges your subcommittee to make a speedy report recommending extensive changes in the rule.
The rule as presently written does violence to the legitimate right of the majority to perform its legislative function, thus breeding disrespect for the democratic process. In a period of serious challenge to the basic validity of democratic procedures, the frustration and nullification of the will of the majority arising from the filibuster place formidable weapons in the hands of those who deny that democracy can function effectively.
As we see it, the democratic process involves two correlative principles scrupulous regard for the rights of the minority, and eventual decision according to the will of the majority. As an organization committed to both principles, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom could never support a proposal which would enable the majority to ride roughshod over the minority, or, on the other hand, would allow action to be permanently blocked where a majority has determined that it is required.
The present rule, under which filibusters may be ended only if 64 Senators vote in favor of cloture, has repeatedly forced the United States Senate to sit for weeks in frustrated inactivity while a few stubborn Senators read recipes or other trivia solely for the purpose of preventing a vote on an issue which everyone knew would command the support of the majority of the Senate if only it could be brought to a vote. Such mockery of the legislative process destroys the dignity of the Senate and subjects it to contempt and ridicule. If the Senate is to merit its designation as the "greatest deliberate assembly in the world,” this condition must not be perpetuated. A workable cloture rule would do much to encourage real discussion of the issues and discourage irrelevancy in debate.
Several of the proposals for revision of Senate rule XXII, while preserving full freedom of debate would also safeguard the right of the majority to act once full consideration had been given to the proposal before the Senate.
Senate Resolution 17 provides a cloture rule which serves these ends. The extended discussion sometimes required to inform, educate, and arouse not only the Senate itself, but the people as a whole would be permitted by the provision that on the first attempt to invoke cloture a two-thirds vote of those present and voting after a quorum call would be required. Not until after an additional 15 days of full discussion would cloture be possible by the affirmative vote of a simple majority of those Senators duly elected and sworn (namely, 49). The proposed resolution also preserves the present procedure, under which, after a vote in favor of cloture, each Senator is permitted an additional hour of debate. Taking into consideration the fact that no cloture petition would be likely to command the support of the 16 Senators required to initiate it until there had been substantial debate, Senate Resolution 17 would, in actual practice, limit debate only after 4 to 5 weeks of discussion.
Senate Resolution 17 is a moderate approach to the problem which this subcommittee is considering. A study of the cloture votes between the passage of the 1917 rule and the present session of the Senate indicates that cloture was invoked only 5 of the 22 occasions where a vote was taken. If only 49 rather than 64 votes had been required, cloture would have been invoked on 5 additional occasions, while in 12 out of the 22 votes it would have failed. Thus there is little reason to fear that under Senate Resolution 17 cloture would be frequent.
The study of previous cloture votes also indicates that there would be no serious danger to minority rights should the Senate see fit to adopt the more liberal provision of Senate Resolution 21, introduced by Senator Morse, under which cloture could be invoked by a simple majority of those present and voting. This organization would welcome such revision of Senate rule XXII, particularly if accompanied by the imposition of a reasonable time limit before cloture could be invoked.
We urge also that the revision of the rule include a deletion of the present section 3 of rule XXII-a section which we believe to be not only unconstitutional, but which is additionally an undemocratic attempt to curtail freedom of action of subsequent Senates. We believe that the small concession on the number of votes required for cloture would not justify support of restrictions upon changing Senate rules in future Congresses, and hence we vigorously oppose Senate Resolution 30, introduced by Senators Knowland and Johnson.
The present consideration of civil-rights legislation by the Senate points up the necessity for revision of rule XXII. Eventual passage in some form of this legislation—if, indeed, this should occur—would in no wise obviate the necessity for change in the rule. Rules of legislative procedure is a democracy should not permit that dictatorship by the minority which now obtains under Senate rule XXII. We urge this subcommittee to recommend changes to the end that majority rule, under reasonable safeguards for the rights of the minority, may be restored in the United States Senate.
STATEMENT OF CHARLES F. ROBERTSON, REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN LEAGUE
AGAINST COMMUNISM, Los ANGELES, CALIF., ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SENATE STANDING RULE NO. XXII
I have been authorized by the duly constituted authorities of the American League Against Communism to go on record as opposed to any change in the rules involving unlimited debate in the United States Senate for the following reasons:
1. It is my belief that it was the original intention of the Founding Fathers that the United States Senate served as the great insulation between quickly aroused passions and the Constitution.
2. The traditional system of checks and balances has been made so much safer by the preservation of unlimited debate in the United States Senate.
3. At this very moment millions of Americans believe that the Supreme Court is attempting to assume more authority over our personal lives than was intended by those who framed the Constitution. The preservation of the right of unlimited debate could very likely serve to protect our people and our State governments against an intemperate invasion of States rights and personal rights.
4. The subtle tricks of treason are as complex as the study of geology or chess. The average humble American citizen cannot grasp the full danger of communism at first glance. The Marxist doctrine is now being promoted in the United States through the instrumentality of 469 organizations with as many different names. Most of the names of these organizations are so subtle and deceptive that innocent people frequently joint them without realizing their ultimate purpose. A situation might develop, and God forbid that it should, in the United States where the only way the American people could be enlightened concerning subtle Marxist legislation would be for a handful of enlightened patriots to debate the subject at great length until their colleagues and Nation were sufficiently enlightened and informed. Occasionally propaganda can be so manipulated and pyramided that the passions of the populace, and even the men and women in Government, can be so mobilized that the liberty of an innocent minority can be menaced. The right of unlimited debate safeguards the liberty of such a minority. It so happens that the white people of the South are today being made the victims of propaganda pressures, which if not curbed or corrected by well-publicized truth could make of this white minority the most persecuted minority in the history of our Nation.
Attached herewith is a copy of the names of the 469 organizations promoting Marxism within the United States.
(The list of organizations referred to may be found in the subcommittee files.)
STATEMENT OF AL HARTNETT, SECRETARY-TREASURER, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF ELECTRICAL, RADIO, AND MACHINE WORKERS, AFL-CIO, ON SENATE RULE XXII
Mr. Chairman, my name is Al Hartnett. I am secretary-treasurer of the International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers, AFL-CIO, and chairman of the IUE civil rights committee. I am submitting this statement on behalf of the president of our international union, James B. Carey, the members of the union, and myself.
The membership of this union adopted the policy of asking for a change in Senate Rule XXII on Tuesday, December 5, 1950, in a resolution which calls for "the freedom of Congress from antidemocratic minority control, delay, and hidden votes by repealing the Wherry amendment, requiring 64 votes to limit debate" and also by numerous resolutions since that time.
I appreciate this opportunity to submit our statement and I am mindful of the courtesy of the Senate in allowing us to present our views on rules which the Senate itself adopts.
We have always been a union that has spoken plainly, and I will come directly to the heart of the matter. The issue here is whether or not there shall be majority rule. The President of the United States, the Senate, the House, all State and municipal bodies are elected by majority vote. This is the approved and established way of life in America. No one questions that this is a democratic procedure. Yet, we are here today making an appeal that this majority be enabled to operate in an orderly and democratic manner and in the best interest of all of the citizens.
To a logically minded person, it is almost incomprehensible that after a majority has been elected, a minority should be able to defeat its will. Yet, this is exactly what Senate Rule XXII does. It calls for a vote of 64 Senators before debate can be ended. "Debate" is a polite word for a filibuster. Thus, any 33 Senators, so determined, can bring to a standstill the senior legislative body of America.
Since the adoption of the Wherry amendment it has never happened that 64 Senators have voted for cloture. We think it is reasonable to assume that they never will.
We see no reason why this vote on cloture should be treated differently from other rules of parlamentary procedure. It takes only a two-thirds vote of those Senators present to expel a Member of the Senate, only a two-thirds vote of those present is needed to impeach the President of the United States. The requirement to override a Presidential veto is only two-thirds of those present and voting, and the same applies to proposing constitutional amendments. It takes only a two-thirds vote of those present and voting to ratify a treaty which could mean eventual war-and in these days, such a war might mean the end of civilization.
If these matters of the first magnitude require only a two-thirds vote of those Senators present and voting, what possible justification is there for demanding a vote of two-thirds of the Senators duly chosen and sworn, which in a full Senate means 64, for cloture?
Let me state right here that we are for full debate on any and all issues. We support the right of minorities to express their views and we actively encourage them to do so. However, there is a vast difference between honest debate to express beliefs and prolonged delay for the specific purpose of killing a bill.
This is a reasonable statement to which fair-minded men will agree. Those who oppose changing rule XXII for the purpose of filibuster with the avowed purpose of preventing a vote must acknowledge that they are against majority rule, which is the accepted determination in America.
It is no secret that the opponents to a change in rule XXII are motivated by their desire to stop civil-rights legislation. With the civil-rights bill now on the Senate Calendar, it is openly stated that there will be a filibuster against it. To us, this is a declaration of anarchy. It is the desire of the majority to pass this legislation. Yet, this willful minority is determined that the majority shall not have its way. This despite the fact that the Senators on both sides were elected on platforms assuring civil rights to all.
There are many resolutions pending before the committee which go a long way toward meeting our objectives. We see merit in Senate Resolution 21, introduced by Senator Morse, and also merit in Senate Resolution 17, introduced by Paul Douglas and 14 other Senators.
We do not presume to be experts in determining just how long is the proper time for debate. It is our belief that a satisfactory compromise can be reached which both sides could support if they are interested in seeing that the Senate can function.
I am aware that you have these various resolutions before you, so I will not go into them in detail. We are not presuming to urge that you adopt a specific resolution but rather that you see that the minority has adequate time to express their views and still make sure that there is majority vote.
Throughout this troubled world, the Voice of America is a voice crying for freedom. We point with horror to Hungary, believing that the will of the majority has been suppressed. We view East Germany in the same light, as well as the rest of the satellite countries. We condemn Russia, stating flatly that it has a totalitarian regime; that it does not respond to the will of the people. In other countries we condemn minority suppression of whatever sort.
We can go a long way toward cleaning our own house by amending rule XXII. In this manner we will have a better chance of calling upon all countries to let there be a true expression of their citizens' desires.
Surely, no one can deny that rule XXII as it now stands is an excellent basis for anti-American propaganda. Let's take this weapon out of their hands and make the Senate what it is supposed to be a reflection of the wishes of the majority of American citizens.
Both political parties have cried it is time for a change. I think it is time that the Senate heeded this cry and changed rule XXII so that the mandate of the majority of Americans can be effected.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE C. WALLACE, JUDGE, THIRD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF ALABAMA,
TO SENATE RULES COMMITTEE ON PENDING RULES CHANGE PROPOSALS, JULY 16, 1957
I am opposed to the several resolutions submitted for consideration by this committee that would limit debate in the greatest deliberative body in the world, the United States Senate. I am judge of the Third Judicial Circuit of Alabama, and was elected by the Alabama delegation to the recent Democratic National Convention as their representative on the platform committee.
I quote in the beginning from the Saturday Evening Post of January 12, 1957, an editorial of that publication that is on public record in favor of civilrights legislation : “Despite all the talk about whether the Senate is a continuing body or whether it is a new body, with the right to make new rules every time it meets, the essential issue is whether or not a majority in Congress shall be able to force into law proposals which are not accepted as valid by a considerable number of States.” The late Senator James Reed, fiery Democrat of Missouri, might well have settled the argument when he said many years ago :
"Strike down this safeguard of public discussion, apply the gag, and imagine if you please, that it is applied only to pass good measures, only to accomplish the virtuous and the wise and the holy, only to bring the thing of rectitude; imagine that if you please. He is a fool, he is every kind of a fool that has ever cursed the earth or cursed himself, who thinks that any power will always be used wisely and justly. Why should there not be some place in this country where the virtues or the inequities of proposed legislation could be exposed without gag, without rule, without limit, some place where every public act must come under the surveillance of men who have complete freedom of speech ?”
The Constitution of the United States provided in article 1, section 3, paragraph 1, that the Senate of the United States shall be composed of "two Senators from each State.” Although many States have populations in the millions, many others do not, and the voice of Nevada, in the United States Senate, is as powerful as the voice of the Empire State. This was the intention of those who drafted and ratified the Constitution, and as for further insurance that no State might be outvoted by another State in the Senate, in article V we find "that no State without its consent shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate." Yet one of the effects of the proposed rules change is that a certain number of Senators can and will deprive the Senators from other sovereign States of their right to discuss freely, and without limitation, matters before the Senate that affect the very peace and tranquility of their States.
Any one of the resolutions adopted limiting debate would be a rule limiting the voice of the States; all of this because there are those who shout majority rule shall and must prevail in the Senate. The founders of the Nation, those who drafted and ratified the Constitution, did not subscribe to any such theory. If they had so subscribed to such a theory, then there would never have been any equal representation in the Senate of the respective States, regardless of population. If those who raise the hue and cry about majority rule are successful in limiting the voice of the States, will they then say we must limit the vote of the States? I submit that such would eventually be the recommendations of these liberal organizations that are advocating restriction of debate in the United States Senate. I submit that whenever it suits their whim and fancy they will advocate:
Ratification of treaties with foreign nations by majority vote, and not by the required two-thirds;
Majority approval of a constitutional amendment by the Senate instead of two-thirds vote;
Majority of States only in ratification of a constitutional amendment instead of the three-fourths now required. The proponents of certain legislation and certain proponents of the rule change say "the end justifies the means. When we degenerate in this country to the acceptance of such theory of government, then the civil rights of no individual, regardless of color, race, creed, or national ancestry will be safe. The prime examples of governments that followed such theories that “the end justifies the means” were Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Communist Russia. There was no such thing as unlimited free debate in those governments that have been swept from the face of the earth, and there is no such thing as unlimited debate in Russia. The Senate of the United States is the only place in our Government where the States have a full voice. Members of the House of Representatives represent only a portion of the people and of the land area of a State; the Chief Executive has no direct responsibility to the States; the Supreme Court is isolated from the States; therefore, the change of Senate rules to allow limitation of debate upon a simple majority vote will be one more step in the direction of relegating the States to mere administrative agencies, and I submit that the change of Senate rules now proposed will sound the death knell to local government, not only in the South but all over the Nation.
People in Alabama believe in constitutional government, and they plead for freedom of debate. They desire to have their representation in the Senate speak freely and without restriction. They know the voice of their Senators in the American Senate is really the voice of their State. We sometimes are perplexed in Alabama and the South when we see certain branches of our Government go