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The Distinction Between "Civil Rights" and "Civil Liberties":

Civil-rights laws are designed to protect people against acts of discrimination in the private sphere -- in such areas as employment, housing, or education. These laws generally specify a set of characteristics that cannot be used to favor some people over others: race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and nationality. In cases where such discrimination occurs, government intervention is invoked. (Civil liberties, by contrast, are designed to eliminate, as much as possible, government influence in the private sphere.)

How the 1964 Civil Rights Act Became Law:

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow John Fonte provides some important details about how the 1964 Civil Rights Act became law:

"Although the Democrats controlled both houses of the Congress at the time, a much-higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats supported the civil-rights bill. For example, in the House, Republicans voted for civil rights by a margin of 79 percent to 21 percent, 136-35. The Democrats' margin was 153-91 or 63 percent to 37 percent.

"However, the single-most-important vote for the legislation was the attempt to cut off the anti-civil-rights filibuster in the Senate. In order for the bill to pass, civil-rights supporters needed two thirds of the Senate to break a filibuster by the opposition. Republicans voted overwhelmingly to break the filibuster by 81.8 percent (27-6), but only 65.7 percent of the Democrats voted to end the filibuster (44-23)....

"Only a handful of Republicans opposed the civil-rights bill. The most prominent among them was Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, who became the party's presidential candidate in 1964. Interestingly, Goldwater had always been a strong supporter of racial equality and supported the Eisenhower civil-rights bills of 1957 and 1960 that strengthened voting rights for African Americans.... Goldwater stated that workforce discrimination was 'morally wrong,' but worried that in the future the federal government might 'require people to discriminate on the basis of color or race or religion' and, thus, in the end, opposed the bill."


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