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H.R. 6127 (85th): An Act to provide means of further securing and protecting the civil rights of persons within the jurisdiction of the United States.

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 9, 1957 (Passed Congress).


634                                    PUBLIC LAW 8 5 - 3 1 5 - S E P T . 9, 1957          [71   ST A T .


                     Public Law 85-315
September 9, 1957                                       AN ACT
   [H. R. 6127]
                     To provide means of further securing and protecting the civil rights of persons
                                     within the jurisdiction of the United States.

                      Be it enacted by the Seriate and House of Representatives                  of the
  Civil Rights Act
of 1957.             United States of America in Congress assembled,
                       PART I—ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS

                        SEC. 101. (a) There is created in the executive branch of the Govern-
                     ment a Commission on Civil Rights (hereinafter called the "Com-
                     mission").
                        (b) The Commission shall be composed of six members who shall
                     be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of
                     the Senate. Not more than three of the members shall at any one
                     time be of the same political party.
                        (c) The President shall designate one of the members of the Com-
                     mission as Chairman and one as Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman
                     shall act as Chairman in the absence or disability of the Chairman,
                     or in the event of a vacancy in that office.
                        (d) Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers and
                     shall be filled in the same manner, and subject to the same limitation
                     with respect to party affiliations as the original appointment was
                     made.
                        (e) Four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.
                                     R U L E S OF PROCEDURE OF T H E C O M M I S S I O N

                        SEC. 102. (a) The Chairman or one designated by him to act as
                     Chairman at a hearing of the Commission shall announce in an open-
                     ing statement the subject of the hearing.
                        (b) A copy of the Commission's rules shall be made available to
                     the witness before the Commission.
                        (c) Witnesses at the hearings may be accompanied by their own
                     counsel for the purpose of advising them concerning their constitu-
                     tional rights.
                        (d) The Chairman or Acting Chairman may punish breaches of
                     order and decorum and unprofessional ethics on the part of counsel,
                     by censure and exclusion from the hearings.
                        (e) If the Commission determines that evidence or testimony at any
                     hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person,
                     it shall (1) receive such evidence or testimony in executive session;
                      (2) afford such person an opportunity voluntarily to appear as a
                     witness; and (3) receive and dispose of requests from such person
                     to subpena additional witnesses.
                        (f) Except as provided in sections 102 and 105 (f) of this Act^
                     the Chairman shall receive and the Commission shall dispose of
                     requests to subpena additional witnesses.
  Evidenc e
testimony.              (g) No evidence or testimony taken in executive session may be
  Release.           released or used in public sessions without the consent of the Com-
                     mission. Whoever releases or uses in public without the consent of
                     the Commission evidence or testimony taken in executive session shall
                     be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned for not more than one
                     year.
                        (h) I n the discretion of the Commission, witnesses may submit
                     brief and pertinent sworn statements^ in writing for inclusion in the
                     record. The Commission is the sole judge of the pertinency of testi-
                     mony and evidence adduced at its hearings.

71 S T A T . ] PUBLIC LAW 85-315-SEPT. 9, 1957 (i) Upon payment of the cost thereof, a witness may obtain a transcript copy of his testimony given at a public session or, if given at an executive session, when authorized by the Commission. Witness f e e s . (j) A witness attending any session of the Commission shall receive $4 for each day's attendance and for the time necessarily occupied in going to and returning from the same, and 8 cents per mile for going from and returning to his place of residence. "Witnesses who attend at points so far removed from their respective residences as to prohibit return thereto from day to day shall be entitled to an addi- tional allowance of $12 per day for expenses of subsistence, including the time necessarily occupied in going to and returning from the place of attendance. Mileage payments shall be tendered to the witness upon service of a subpena issued on behalf of the Commission or any subcommittee thereof. (k) The Commission shall not issue any subpena for the attendance and testimony of witnesses or for the production of written or other matter which would require the presence of the party subpenaed at a hearing to be held outside of the State, wherein the witness is found or resides o ; transacts business. COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS OF T H E COMMISSION SEC. 103. (a) Each member of the Commission who is not otherwise in the service of the Government of the United States shall receive the sum of $50 per day for each day spent in the work of the Commis- sion, shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary travel expenses, and shall receive a per diem allowance of $12 in lieu of actual expenses for subsistence when away from his usual place of residence, inclusive of fees or tips to porters and stewards. (b) Each member of the Commission who is otherwise in the service of the Government of the United States shall serve without compensa- tion in addition to that received for such other service, but while engaged in the work of the Commission shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary travel expenses, and shall receive a per diem allowance of $12 in lieu of actual expenses for subsistence when away from his usual place of residence, inclusive of fees or tips to porters and stewards. DUTIES o r T H E COMMISSION SEC. 104. (a) The Commission shall— (1) investigate allegations in writing under oath or affirmation that certain citizens of the United States are being deprived of their right to vote and have that vote counted by reason of their color, race^ religion, or national origin; which writing, under oath or affirmation, shall set forth the facts upon which such belief or beliefs are based; (2) study and collect information concerning legal develop- ments constituting a denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution; and (3) appraise the laws and policies of the Federal Government with respect to equal protection of the laws under the Con- stitution. to Pres- (b) The Commission shall submit interim reports to the President la^'nt^'an^d' Con- and to the Congress at such times as either the Commission or the gress. President shall deem desirable, and shall submit to the President and to the Congress a final and comprehensive report of its activities, find- ings, and recommendations not later than two years from the date of the enactment of this Act. (c) Sixty days after the submission of its final report and recom- coLmiSVion!^"" °' mendations the Commission shall cease to exist.
636 PUBLIC LAW 85-315-SEPT. 9, 1957 [71 ST A T . POWERS OF T H E COMMISSION Staff director. SEC. 105. (a) There shall be a full-time staff director for the Com- mission who shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and who shall receive compensation at a rate, to be fixed by the President, not in excess of $22,500 a year. The President shall consult with the Commission before submitting the nomination of any person for appointment to the position of staff director. Within the limitations of its appropriations, the Commis- sion may appoint such other personnel as it deems advisable, in accordance with the civil service and classification laws, and may procure services as authorized by section 15 of the Act of August 2, 1946 (60 Stat. 810; 5 U. S. C. 55a), but at rates for individuals not in excess of $50 per diem. (b) The Commission shall not accept or utilize services of volun- tary or uncompensated personnel, and the term "whoever" as used in paragraph (g) of section 102 hereof shall be construed to mean a person whose services are compensated by the United States. (c) The Commission may constitute such advisory committees within States composed of citizens of that State and may consult with governors, attorneys general, and other representatives of State and local governments, and private organizations, as it deems advisable. (d) Members of the Commission, and members of advisory com- mittees constituted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, shall be exempt from the operation of sections 281, 283, 284, 434, and 1914 62 Stat. 697 et of title 18 of the United States Code, and section 190 of the Kevised aeq. Statutes (5 U . S . C. 99). _ (e) All Federal agencies shall cooperate fully with the Commis- sion to the end that it may effectively carry out its functions and duties. Hearings, e t c . (f) The Commission, or on the authorization of the Commission any subcommittee of two or more members, at least one of whom shall be of each major political party, may, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, hold such hearings and act at such times and places as the Commission or such authorized subcommittee Subpenas. may deem advisable. Subpenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of written or other matter may be issued in accordance with the rules of the Commission as contained in sec- tion 102 (j) and (k) of this Act, over the signature of the Chairman of the Commission or of such subcommittee, and may be served by any person designated by such Chairman. (g) I n case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpena, any district court of the United States or the United States court of any Territory or possession, or the District Court of the United States for the Dis- trict of Columbia, within the jurisdiction of which the inquiry is carried on or within the jurisdiction of which said person guilty of contumacy or refusal to obey is found or resides or transacts business, upon application by the Attorney General of the United States shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear before the Commission or a subcommittee thereof, there to produce evidence if so ordered, or there to give testimony touching the matter under investigation; and any failure to obey sucn order of the court may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof. APPROPRIATIONS SEC. 106. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, so much as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
71 S T A T . ] PUBLIC LAW 85-3 1 5 - S E P T . 9, 1957 637 PART II—To PROVIDE FOR AN ADDITIONAL ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL \ SEC. 111. There shall be in the Department of Justice one additional Assistant Attorney General, who shall be appointed by the President, V by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall assist s^ the Attorney General in the performance of his duties, and who shall receive conipensation at the rate prescribed by law for other Assistant Attorneys General. PART I I I — T o STRENGTHEN THE CIVIL EIGHTS STATUTES, AND FOR ^ OTHER PURPOSES SEC. 121. Section 1343 of title 28, United States Code, is amended ^2 stat. 932. as follows: (a) Amend the catch line of said section to read, "§ 1343. Civil rights and elective franchise" (b) Delete the period at the end of paragraph (3) and insert in lieu thereof a semicolon. (c) Add a paragraph as follows: " (4) To recover damages or to secure equitable or other relief under any Act of Congress providing for the protection of civil rights, including the right to vote." SEC. 122. Section 1989 of the Revised Statutes (42 U. S. C. 1993) Repeal, is hereby repealed. PART IV—To PROVIDE MEANS OF FURTHER SECURING AND PROTECTING THE R I G H T T O VOTE SEC. 131. Section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (42 U. S. C. 1971), is amended as follows: (a) Amend the catch line of said section to read, "Voting rights". (b) Designate its present text with the subsection symbol " ( a ) " . (c) Add, immediately following the present text, four new sub- sections to read as follows: "(b) No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector. Member of the Senate, or Member of the House or Representatives, Delegates or Commissioners from the Territories or possessions, at any general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any such candidate. "(c) Whenever any person has engaged or there are reasonable grounds to believe that an^ person is about to engage in any act or )ractice which would deprive any other person of any right or privi- fege secured by subsection (a) or ( b ) , the Attorney General may in- stitute for the United States, or in the name of the United States, a civil action or other proper proceeding for preventive relief, includ- ing an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restrain- ing order, or other order. In any proceeding hereunder the United States shall be liable for costs the same as a private person. " ( d ) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdic- tion of proceedings instituted pursuant to this section and shall exer- cise the same without regard to whether the party aggrieved shall have exhausted any administrative or other remedies that may be provided by law. 84352 O - 5 8 - 4 3
638 PUBLIC LAW 8 5 - 3 1 5 - S E P T . 9, 1957 [71 ST AT, "(e) Any person cited for an alleged contempt under this Act shall be allowed to make his full defense by counsel learned in the law; and the court before which he is cited or tried, or some judge thereof, shall immediately, upon his request, assign to him such counsel, not exceeding two, as he may desire, who shall have free access to him at all reasonable hours. He shall be allowed, in his defense to make any proof that he can produce by lawful witnesses, and shall have the like process of the court to compel his witnesses to appear at his trial or hearing, as is usually granted to compel witnesses to appear on behalf of the prosecution. If such person shall be found by the court to be financially unable to provide for such counsel, it shall be the duty of the court to provide svich counsel." PART V—To PROVIDE TRIAL BY JURY FOR PROCEEDINGS To P U N I S H (CRIMINAL CONTEMPTS OF COURT GROWING O U T or CIVIL RIGHTS CASES AND To AMEND THE JUDICIAL CODE RELATING TO FEDERAL J U R Y QUALIFICATIONS C r i m i n a l con-SEC. 151. I n all cases of criminal contempt arising under the pro- tempt. Penalties. visions of this Act, the accused, upon conviction, shall be punished by fine or imprisonment or both: Provided however^ That in case the accused is a natural person the fine to be paid shall not exceed the sum of $1,000, nor shall imprisonment exceed the term of six months: Provided further^ That in any such proceeding for criminal contempt, at the discretion of the judge, the accused may be tried with or without a j u r y : Provided further^ however, That in the event such proceeding for criminal contempt be tried before a judge without a jury and the sentence of the court upon conviction is a fine in excess of the sum of $300 or imprisonment in excess of forty-five days, the accused in said proceeding, upon demand therefor, shall be entitled to a trial de novo before a jury, which shall conform as near as may be to the practice in other criminal cases. NonappUcablllty. This section shall not apply to contempts committed in the presence of the court or so near thereto as to interfere directly with the admin- istration of justice nor to the misbehavior, misconduct, or disobedience, of any officer of the court in respect to the writs, orders, or process of the court. Nor shall anything herein or in any other provision of law be construed to deprive courts of their power, hj civil contempt proceed- ings, without a jur^, to secure compliance with or to prevent obstruc- tion of, as distinguished from punishment for violations of, any law- ful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command of the court in accordance with the prevailing usages of law and equity, including the power of detention. 62 Stat. 951. SEC. 152. Section 1861, title 28, of the United States Code is hereby amended to read as follows: "§ 1861. Qualifications of Federal jurors "Any citizen of the United States who has attained the age of twenty-one years and who has resided for a period of one year within the judicial district, is competent to serve as a grand or petit juror unless— " (1) He has been convicted in a State or Federal court of record of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his civil rights have not been restored by pardon or amnesty. "(2) He is unable to read, write, speak, and understand the English language. "(3) He is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmi- ties to render efficient jury service." Short title. SEC. 161. This Act may'be cited as the "Civil Rights Act of 1957". Approved September 9, 1957.