When unconstitutional laws are passed - "Goldwater &
The 1964 Civil Rights Act"
This is well worth the read! It shines light on what happens when
laws are passed that are NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. We pay the price in more
ways than one when that happens. That is why I keep
harping about eliminating all things that are not contained in the
Constitution. Why do we have to take laws to court to get a ruling
made when it is well known PRIOR to the passage that a law is unconstitutional?
Those proposing the laws have a wealth of attorneys advising them
of such matters but they proceed as though they were part of the Three
Stooges. America is ruled by court rulings instead of the Constitution
and that is not how it was set out to be.
To: "News & Views" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: MUTH'S TRUTHS - December 29, 2002
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2002 07:40:53 -0500
"Goldwater & The 1964 Civil Rights Act"
To be sure, Trent Lott's comments delivered at Strom Thurmond's 100th
birthday party earlier this month have re-opened some very old racial
Not surprisingly, racists of all colors are using Mr. Lott's comments
their own demagogic purposes, particularly those on the political
(Hello, Hillary!) who see partisan advantage in playing "the
race card" to
But there was one voice from the right that hit a particularly raw
me, the voice of Jack Kemp.
The former congressman, cabinet official and Bob Dole's 1996 vice
presidential running mate, took the occasion of Mr. Lott's verbal
to blame the entire GOP "image" problem in the black community
Goldwater's vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a vote which Kemp
derided as "misguided ideological purity."
Well, Barry Goldwater doesn't need me to defend him. He's perfectly
of doing that himself. In fact, the only thing Sen. Goldwater needed
was a little detective work to uncover the speech explaining his vote
the floor of the United States Senate on June 18, 1964.
The text of the speech was included in Goldwater's book titled, "Where
Stand," and is reprinted below for your consideration and enjoyment.
* * *
There have been few, if any, occasions when the searching of my conscience
and the re-examination of my views of our constitutional system have
a greater part in the determination of my vote than they have on this
I am unalterably opposed to discrimination or segregation on the
race, color, or creed, or on any other basis; not only with my words,
more importantly my actions through the years have repeatedly demonstrated
the sincerity of my feeling in this regard.
This is fundamentally a matter of the heart. Our problems of discrimination
can never be cured by laws alone; but I would be the first to agree
laws can help - laws carefully considered and weighed in an atmosphere
dispassion, in the absence of political demagoguery, and in the light
fundamental constitutional principles.
For example, throughout my twelve years as a member of the Senate
Public Welfare Committee, I have repeatedly offered amendments to
pertaining to labor that would end discrimination in unions, and repeatedly
those amendments have been turned down by the very members of both
who so vociferously support the present approach to the solution of
Talk is one thing, action is another, and until the members of the
States Senate and the people of this country realize this, there will
real solution to the problems we face.
To be sure, a calm environment for the consideration of any law dealing
human relationships is not easily attained - emotions run high, political
pressures become great, and objectivity is at a premium. Nevertheless,
deliberation and calmness are indispensable to success.
It was in this context that I maintained high hopes for this current
legislation - high hopes that, notwithstanding the glaring defects
measure as it reached us from the House of Representatives and the
sledgehammer political tactics which produced it, this legislation,
the actions of what was once considered to be the greatest deliberative
on earth, would emerge in a form both effective for its lofty purposes
acceptable to all freedom-loving people.
It is with great sadness that I realize the non-fulfillment of these
hopes. My hopes were shattered when it became apparent that emotion
political pressure, not persuasion, not common sense, not deliberation,
become the rule of the day and of the processes of this great body.
One has only to review the defeat of common-sense amendments to this
amendments that would in no way harm it but would, in fact, improve
it - to
realize that political pressure, not persuasion or common sense, has
rule the consideration of this measure.
I realize fully that the Federal government has a responsibility
field of civil rights, but it would serve no purpose at this juncture
review my position as to just where that Federal responsibility
appropriately lies. I supported the civil rights bills which were
1957 and 1960, and my public utterances during the debates on those
and since reveal clearly the areas in which I feel the Federal
responsibility lies and Federal legislation on this subject can be
effective and appropriate. Many of those areas are encompassed in
and to that extent I favor it.
I wish to make myself perfectly clear. The two portions of this bill
which I have constantly and consistently voiced objections, and which
such overriding significance that they are determinative of my vote
entire measure, are those which would embark the Federal government
regulatory course of action with regard to private enterprise in the
so-called 'public accommodations' and in the area of employment -
to be more
specific, Titles II and VII of the bill.
I find no constitutional basis for the exercise of Federal regulatory
authority in either of these two areas; and I believe the attempted
usurpation of such power to be a grave threat to the very essence
basic system of government, namely, that of a constitutional republic
which fifty sovereign states have reserved to themselves and to the
those powers not specifically granted to the central or Federal government.
If it is the wish of the American people that the Federal government
be granted the power to regulate in these two areas and in the manner
contemplated by this bill, then I say that the Constitution should
amended by the people as to authorize such action in accordance with
procedures for amending the Constitution which that great document
I say further that for this great legislative body to ignore the
Constitution and the fundamental concepts of our governmental system
act in a manner which could ultimately destroy the freedom of all
citizens, including the freedoms of the very persons whose feelings
whose liberties are the major subject of this legislation.
My basic objection to this measure is, therefore, constitutional.
But, in addition, I would like to point out to my colleagues in the
and to the people of America, regardless of their race, color, or
implications involved in the enforcement of regulatory legislation
sort. To give genuine effect to the prohibitions of this bill will
the creation of a Federal police force of mammoth proportions.
It also bids fair to result in the development of an 'informer' psychology
in great areas of our national life - neighbors spying on neighbors,
spying on workers, businessmen spying on businessmen, where those
harass their fellow citizens for selfish and narrow purposes will
inducement to do so. These, the Federal police force and an 'informer'
psychology, are the hallmarks of the police state and landmarks in
destruction of a free society.
I repeat again: I am unalterably opposed to discrimination of any
sort and I
believe that though the problem is fundamentally one of the heart,
can help - but not law that embodies features like these, provisions
fly in the face of the Constitution and which require for their effective
execution the creation of a police state. And so, because I am unalterably
opposed to the destruction of our great system of government and the
our God-given liberties, I shall vote "No" on this bill.
The vote will be reluctantly cast, because I had hoped to be able
"Yea" on this measure as I have on the civil rights bills
preceded it; but I cannot, in good conscience to the oath that I took
assuming office, cast my vote in the affirmative. With the exception
Titles II and VII, I could whole-heartedly support this bill; but
inclusion, not measurably improved by the compromise version we have
working on, my vote must be "No."
If my vote is misconstrued, let it be, and let me suffer its consequences.
Just let me be judged in this by the real concern I have voiced here
by words that others may speak or by what others may say about what
My concern is not with this single legislative moment. My concern
with a single faction of our citizens, no matter their power. My concern
with the fullness of this nation, with the fullness of freedom for
who lives in it and who will be born in it.
And I say that the general welfare must be spoken of now, despite
special appeals to special welfare. This is the time to attend to
liberties of all - not just to the demands of a few.
There is my concern. And this is where I stand.
* * *
Hmmm. Sen. Goldwater predicted that passage of the 1964 Civil Rights
would result in "the creation of a Federal police force of mammoth
You mean like the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)?
Yeah, that Goldwater was such a "misguided ideological purist."
absurdity of basing one's vote on something as silly as that old
Constitution thingy. How dare the senator cast a vote out of something
misguided as "principle"?
Well, Sen. Goldwater, all I can say is if the rest of your colleagues
followed your lead in 1964, we wouldn't have had all these problems
# # #
Mr. Muth (www.chuckmuth.com) is editor and publisher of the Internet
newsletter "Chuck Muth's News & Views" and president
of the Goldwater Club.