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power. Among these are enumerated the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The Constitution itself coutains many limitations upon majority rule. Thus, the majority may not take my property without due process of law, or quarter troops in my house without my consent.
The right of trial by jury may not be taken away by the majorityor is this provision in the Constitution any longer valid? Apparently the Attorney General of the United States has found a way around it.
I plead with you, gentlemen, to see this issue in its true perspective.
You are dealing here not with a simple change in the procedural rules of the Senate.
You are dealing with the fundamental principle of the rights of the States as written into the Constitution.
Incidentally, the provision of the Constitution that no State may be deprived of its suffrage in the Senate without its consent is the only part of the Constitution which cannot be repealed or amended except by unanimous consent of all the States. Senator Brandegee called the Senate the "Forum of the States."
You are dealing with the carefully wrought system of checks and balances upon the preservation of which our freedom as a Nation depends.
You are dealing with the last refuge of oppressed minorities—the last remaining free forum where unpopular views may find full and free discussion.
You are being asked to downgrade the Senate itself as an instiution; to pervert the all-important deliberate purpose the framers of the Constitution meant that it should serve; to make it subject to the passing whims of a temporary majority; and to surrender a part of your own dignity and power as lawmakers.
So I return to my original question: Are the movers of this effort to afford additional protection to a few so-called civil rights endangering other rights-rights of all the people, minorities as well as majorities—which are far more precious ? We think they are. Thank you.
Senator TALMADGE. Mr. Taylor, I want to congratulate you on that statement. I think it is one of the finest that has been presented to this committee.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Senator.
Mr. Taylor, we appreciate your coming here, and we appreciate your point of view; although I do not agree with it. I nevertheless appreciate its being exposed for consideration, and I think that is what we are here for.
So I am glad you are here, and I should like, if I may, to take a very few minutes to discuss some of these questions with you.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Javits. I gather you are a lawyer, Mr. Taylor, from the way you read the statement. Are you, by profession, a lawyer?
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes, I am.
Mr. Taylor, I am very much interested in this. I notice a sentence at the very beginning of your statement which says:
* * * being a southern organization and opposed to all so-called civil rights legislation * * *
Now, are the two synonymous, really? I mean, is that the whole character of the South: Being a southern organization, it is ipso facto opposed to every civil rights
Mr. TAYLOR. I start off with the assumption up there, Senator, that this is primarily aimed at the South; and then I follow up with a statement in our declaration of policy: that the council is opposed to all so-called civil rights legislation.
Senator Javits. I was more interested in the sectional aspect of it. You said “being a southern organization.” Are we to assume that every southern organization is opposed to civil rights legislation?
Mr. TAYLOR. No, I do not think that necessarily follows, but the council is.
Senator Javits. You say this is aimed primarily at the South. Of course, on Friday, the South did a little work on its own in connection with the dam, a great many other people did not like. So you might say that the East might say or the Middle West might say it is aimed especially at it.
Would you feel, therefore, that this effort is really—are you really serious about that that, that it is aimed specifically at the South?
Mr. TAYLOR. I have not heard of any agitation coming out of the South for it; and, on the other hand, I have heard much agitation coming out of the North.
Senator JAVITs. Of the other sections of the country?
Senator JAVITS. I noticed also a very interesting allusion to full and free debate in respect to some research you obviously did, which is fine. In 1936, you said there were 76 votes out of the 96 which were Democratic, and the Republicans had only 16. Mr. TAYLOR. That is right.
Senator Javits. Now, on that basis, if the majority were just running wild, it could effect cloture immediately, could it not, even under the present Rule? You gain nothing out of that.
Mr. TAYLOR. Of course, that was an extraordinary situation. But at the same time, Senator, I think you have got to recognize the fact of partisanship.
Take over in the House, as Senator Hill said when he was opposing this when it was up in 1952, I believe, the House does follow the leadership, and it is a partisan decision usually.
So that I do think there is some danger of that partisanship running wild.
Senator Javirs. Well, I point out that under a top-heavy majority, the majority could work its will through cloture. So that you gain nothing out of the present rule, and it leads me to my next question, Mr. Taylor.
You understand, I really am seeking enlightenment as to your point of view. I think, incidentally, it is quite a representative one from the position from which you speak, and I think it should be elucidated as fully as possible. It leads me to this:
Are you satisfied with the present rule, or do you wish no rule at all? The present rule, as you know, gives cloture by a constitutional two-thirds.
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes, I am satisfied with the present rule, for this reason, Senator: In times of national emergency, as in 1918-19, and 1939– 40, it should be possible for a third of a constitutional majority to limit debate in case there are just a small number of what have been called willful men who are attempting to obstruct the program.
Senator Javits. But, of course, the rule is not limited to emergencies. It can be applied at any time by a two-thirds ruling.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, it is not likely to be applied except in emergencies.
Senator Javits. And your view upon that is not changed by the fact that you did have a 76–16 Senate?
Mr. Taylor. No, it is not.
I notice you also make the flat statement that the majority should not rule.
Mr. TAYLOR. That is right.
Senator Javits. Do you qualify that in any way? Would not Government be paralyzed if the majority should not rule?
Mr. TAYLOR. I say there are many situations the majority should not rule.
Senator Javits. You 'limit it, however. You do not say every situation?
Mr. TAYLOR. That is right.
Senator Javits. And also I noticed that you speak of the right, one of the enumerated rights of the Constitution is the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Do you feel that it is a denial of the pursuit of happiness to deny a man a job because he is a Negro?
Mr. TAYLOR. I believe that that is in the Declaration of Independence.
Senator Javits. Yes; I said it is.
Senator JAVITS. I asked whether you believe, or whether or not you believed that it was a denial of the right to the pursuit of happiness if you deny a man a job because he is a Negro.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, are you talking about the administration's civil-rights bill now!
Senator Javits. I am just asking a question of moral and constitutional right.
Mr. TAYLOR. If you are talking about the administration's civilrights bill, of course, as I understand it, that relates to voting.
Senator JaviTS. Well, I am not talking about that, Mr. Taylor. I just ask you this flat question : You say that one of the things we must protect very carefully is the pursuit of happiness, that right.
I ask you whether you consider it a denial of that right to deny a man a job because he is a Negro.
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes; I would.
Senator Javits. Well, is it not a fact that Negroes are denied jobs every day in States of the United States because they are Negroes, managerial jobs ?
Senator TALMADGE. Will the Senator yield at that point?
Senator TALMADGE. Can you name one who has ever been denied a job?
Senator Javits. I can dig through the records and give you testimony.
Senator TALMADGE. You cannot at this time name one?
Senator TALMADGE. I am asking you if you can name one, and name his home address.
Senator Javits. I cannot do it now, but I can give you 150 in hearings before senatorial committees.
Senator TALMADGE. I just ask you whether you can give me the name of one.
Senator Javits. Give me the name of 1 of my constituents, of which there are 17 million.
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not know of any Negroes, Senators, that have been denied a job by reason of their color.
Sentor JAVITS. You do not?
Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that I might introduce into the record at this point, evidence upon that question adduced before congressional committees.
Senator TALMADGE. I have no objections, but I do not understand how that relates to rule XXII. Personally, Senator, I cannot see that there is any relation between it and this hearing.
You insert it in the record, if you wish. I want the hearing to be broad, so the full scope of this question can be heard. If you wish to insert it under those conditions, there is no objection on my part.
(A reference subsequently supplied by Senator Javits is as follows: An example of deprivation of employment because of race, creed, or color occurs in Discrimination and Full Utilization of Manpower Resources, hearings before the Subcommittee on Labor and LaborManagement Relations of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, 82d Cong., 2d sess., on S. 1732 and S. 551, pp. 158-159.)
Senator JAVITs. Do you feel that a denial of the right to vote is a denial of a fundamental constitutional right, Mr. Taylor ?
Mr. TAYLOR. I think it is, Senator; but, on the other hand, I think there is ample law and legislation on the books now to protect that right. Senator JAVITS. You feel that is so? Mr. TAYLOR. Yes.
Senator Javits. Now, Mr. Chairman, I ask that reference be made in these hearings to the testimony of the Attorney General of the United States before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, detailing countless instances in which Negroes have been denied the right to vote in the South.
Senator TALMADGE. We might have an understanding here. Is this a civil-rights hearing, or is it going to relate to rule XXII!
Senator Javits. I am trying very hard to deal with the points made by this witness.
Senator TALMADGE. You are asking extraneous questions which are totally irrelevant to rule XXII, and you know it.
Senator JAVITS. I do not think so, Mr. Chairman, but I am perfectly willing to have the record make the reference, and that does not introduce all the testimony here.
Senator TALMADGE. I have no objection to your putting anything in the record you may wish, but insofar as practical, I want us to confine the hearing to its stated purpose.
Senator JavitS. I think the witness, Mr. Chairman, has testified that the purpose of not amending rule XXII, in his judgment, is to block civil-rights legislation. So I am making reference to the urgent need for the very thing which an unamended rule XXII blocks, according to the witness.
Senator TALMADGE. Of course, the statement does not state exactly the conclusion which you draw therefrom.
I have no objection to your inserting anything in the record, but I think we ought to have an understanding as to whether we are going to get off on tangents.
We could hear testimony as to when Arizona was admitted to the Union, but it would not shed any light on the issue before this committee.
(The reference subsequently supplied by Senator Javits is as follows: Civil Rights—1957, hearings before the Subcommittee on Constituțional Rights of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 85th Cong., 1st sess., p. 5 and pp. 237–243, inclusive.)
Senator JAVITS. Mr. Chairman, the witness apparently does think it sheds light on the matter before the committee, and so I am joining with the witness in elucidating the testimony which he has given.
Now, one other question, and we will go on. I do not want to detain you too long, Mr. Taylor, because I think we are very familiar with your point of view.
Do you feel that true deliberation has beeen had by now on the various civil-rights bills, like the antilynching bill, the anti-poll-tax bill, the FEPC bill?
Mr. TAYLOR. Apparently not, because a lot of people seem to want to speak on them.
Senator JAVITS. I call your attention to the fact we have been considering the antilynching bill for about 25 years, the anti-poll-tax bill for 15 years, the FEPC bills for 11 years. There have been all kinds of hearings, debates in the House and Senate.
Do you feel that that does or does not represent true deliberation on the subject?
Mr. TAYLOR. I will make the same answer I did before, Senator, and add
Senator JAVITS. O. K.
Mr. TAYLOR (continuing). That this rule is fundamentally a rule to protect States and States rights, and that so long as a Senator feels that, in the protection of his State, he needs to talk further on anything, I think he should be permitted to do so.
Senator JaviTS. Well, you really feel, therefore, do you not, Mr. Taylor, there should be no limitation on debate whatever ?
Mr. TAYLOR. No. As I said a while ago, Senator, I think that the present rule is a good one, because it does permit limitation of debate in case of great international emergency.