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January 16, 1964 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-01-16

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ill Congress Supersede Michigan s Rights


Associated Press Staff Writer
DETROIT - Will Michigan's
civil rights laws, among the
strongest in the nation,be wiped
off the books by Congress?
In the view of some legal au-
thorities, the answer may be
"yes" if the proposed federal civil
rights bill remains in its present
The federal proposal-now in
the House rules committee -
might be interpreted by the
courts as preempting the entire
field of civil rights, taking it out
of the hands of individual states,
they contend.'
Other observers, however, say
this is hogwash, and the measure
would do no such thing. They
point out that the proposal spe-
cifically declares in more than

one section that state laws shall
remain in effect when they do
not clash with the federal statute.
Final answers to the question
probably would not come until
after a "shakedown period" of
court tests lasting many months.
But as far as Michigan is con-
cerned, the federal government is
a "Johnny-come-lately" in the
field. The first civil rights act in
Michigan was adopted in 1885.
The Wolverine state already has
laws in effect which in some re-
spects are stronger than the com-
promise bill yet to be debated on
the floor of Congress. These in-
clude some statutes in the fields
of public accommodations and
fair employment.
Key subjects covered by the
proposed federal law are public
accommodations, fair employ-

ment, voting rights, and deseg- 63 years we have served a gentile
regation of public education and clientele."
other public facilities. The following year, the attor-
In Statutes ney general ruled that if a court
Most of these matters already determined that a golf club was
have been incorporated in Mich- operating as a public facility ad-
igan statutes or the state's new mitting only members of the Cau-
constitution. casion race, the golf course would
Other subjects covered by the be subject to the provisions of the
pending Congressional measure Michigan Civil Rights Law.
include permanent extension of It also was pointed out that
the United States Civil Rights the court could suspend or re-
Commission, (with its scope ex- voke the club's liquor or other
panded to include vote fraud), licenses where discrimination is
relations service, authorization practiced.
of the United States attorney In the fair employment field,
general to institute civil proceed- the Congressional bill proposes
ings to protect against the depri- Equal Opportunity Commission,
vation of rights, and provision for which would fulfill a function
review of an order remanding a similar to what Michigan's Fair
civil rights case from a federal Employment Practices Commission
court back to a state court. (FEPC) has been doing for
In the field of public accommo- years.
dations, the bill would outlaw The federal law would give the
racial discrimination in a long new commission the authority to
and specific list of places serving go into federal district court to
the public, basing the federal gov- get a cease-and-desist order if an
ernment's authority to intervene investigation indicates a com-
on its power to regulate inter- plaint is justified.
state commerce. The Michigan FEPC-charged
Prohibit Bias with responsibility to investigate
But where the federal bill would and hold hearings-had au-
prohibit discrimination in most thority to issue cease-and-desist
hotels and lodging-houses, eating orders on its own, with the case
places, and centers of entertain- landing in court only on appeal.
ment and spectator sports, it The Michigan Fair Employ-
would not apply to barber shops, Practices law spells out in metic-
beauty parlors, retail stores, bowl- ulous detail-some 3500 words-
ing alleys and other places of rec- how the state guarantees as a
reation, unless they serve food. civil right the opportunity to ob-
Michigan law specifically pro- tai employment "without dis-
hibits discrimination in all these crimination because of race, col-
fields. or, religion, national origin or
In addition, anyone found ancestry."
guilty of violating the state law The FEPC is now only a mem-
is subject to not less than 15 days ory in Michigan, however.
in jail and a possible $100 fine. FEPC Merged
The offended party also can file Atty. Gen. Frank Kelley has
a civil suit for triple damages. ruled that on Jan. 1, Michigan's
Civil Suits newly-created Civil Rights Com-
Under the federal proposal, mission will assume full author-
the law would be enforced only ity in the fields of employment,
by civil suits for an injunction, education, housing and public ac-
and neither criminal penalties commodations-putting the FEPC
nor the recovery of money dam- out of business.
ages is involved. Kelley says the commission has
The Michigan statute defines authority to enforce civil rights
the scope of the coverage: to purchase, mortgage, lease or
"All persons within the juris- rent private housing, and that the'
diction of this state shall be en- Legislature is without authority
titled to full and equal accom- to abrogate or limit the commis-
modations, advantages, facilities sion's power
and privileges of inns, hotels, Some legislators refuse to take
motels, government housing, res- Kelley's word for it, however, and
taurants, eating houses, barber have introduced legislation to lim-
shops, billiard parlors, stores, it the Commission's power to pro-
public conveyances on land and mulgate rules.
water, theatres, motion picture Kelley says if any such proposal
houses, public educational insti- is enacted he will move to have
tutions, in elevators, on escala- it struck down by the courts.
tors, in all methods of air trans- Court Case
portation and all other places of Gov. George Romney believes
public accommodation, amuse- the whole question probably will
ment, and recreation, sulject only go to court for final settlement
to the conditions and limitations in eithe case
established by law and applicable In outlining the scope of the
alike to all citizens and to all commission's function, the attor-
citizens alike, with u niformney general says there is no ques-
pricesDefinetion but that the new constitution
empowers that body to conduct
These sweeping Michigan pro- investigations, hold hearings and
visions have been further defined issue final orders upon its own
in a series of attorney general's motion when the public interest
opinions. demands.
An unpublished opinion in 1939 "It is equally clear," he said,
held that proprietors could not "that the commission has been
maintain two separate price lists commanded by the people to serve
for the purpose of discriminating the cause of elimination of dis-
against prospective patrons be- crimination in the fields of em-
cause of race, creed or color. ployment, education, housing and
In 1956, the Michigan Tourist public accommodations because of
Council was warned not to dis- religion, race, color or national
tribute calendars advertising a origin and to advance equal op-
resort farm which claimed "for I portunities therein through the

fostering of educational programs,
studies and reports.
Little Effect
That section of the proposed
federal law dealing with voting
rights is expected to have little
effect on Michigan. The provi-
sion concerns guarantees of the
right to vote without discrimina-
tion and is aimed chiefly at
southern states where so-called
literacy tests have been used to
keep Negroes from the polls.
Michigan has no such tests.
The federal law would require
that such tests be given in writ-
ing, with a sixth-grade education
being considered proof of literacy
for registration.
Legal authorities in Michigan
say there have been virtually no
complaints along this line in re-
cent years.
Aimed at South
Another key provision in the
federal bill-desegregation of pub-
lic education-also is aimed chief-
ly at southern states where there
has been foot-dragging on school
It also would authorize the
United States district attorney to
file suits seeking school integra-
tion where he considers that such
action would help the orderly
achievement of desegregation.
No Effect
Again, Michigan would not be
expected to be substantially af-
fected by this provision.
Michigan statutes now declare
that no separate school or de-
partment shall be kept from any
person or persons on account of
race or color.
State laws against discrimina-
tion touch on numerous specifics
not included in the bill pending
in Congress. There also are sev-
eral administrative rules and reg-
ulations and declarations of poli-
Jury Service
Included are such matters as
jury service, life insurance sales,
public assistance and the rights of
Indians to sue and be sued.
Michigan's public policy on civil
rights is spelled out in more than
10,000 words in statutes, attorney
general's opinions and the consti-
For example, it is a crime in
Michigan to:
-Make any distinction or dis-
crimination between white and
colored persons as to life insur-
ance premiums or rates, with vio-
lators being subject to up to a
year in prison and a $500 fine.
-Discriminate in the rendering
of public welfare assistance.
-Disqualify any citizen from
grand or petit jury service be-
cause of race, creed or color.
Domestic Service
Newspaper ads are subject to a
1956 attorney general's opinion
which said that an ad for a
"Christian baby sitter" would be
publishable so long as they are
sought for domestic service, which
in the statutes.
But an advertisement by a pro-
spective employer of eight or more
persons would violate the law if
it specified "colored" as a prefer-
ence or requirement.
In this case, it was pointed out,
the desire to employ a colored
cook might be related to a bona

"THE MANAGEMENT reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone," reads the sign. Michigan's
new state laws in the area of public accommodations are considered stronger than parallel provi-
sions in legislation now before Congress.

fide occupational qualification.'
The ruling was that in doubtful
cases, the newspaper has the re-
sponsibility to determine whether
the statute is applicable.
The attorney general also said
that an employer covered by the
Fair Employment Practices Act
may not advertise for an employe
of his own stated race, nationality
or creed simply for the purpose
of promoting harmony among em-

Michigan's civil rights laws are
based on the Declaration of Rights
in the old state Constitution.
Of this, the state supreme court
has said, "Here the people have
erected their safeguards, not only
against tyranny and brutality, but
against the oppression of tem-
porary majorities and the rapa-
cious demands of government, it-
"Here are found words that are
beyond words, principles for which

men have died and reckoned not
the cost."
Michigan's new constitution, in
an expanded Declaration of Rights
article, says that no person shall
be denied the equal protection of
the laws. And it adds:
"Nor shall any person be denied
the enjoyment of his civil or poli-
tical rights or be discriminated
against in the exercise thereof be-
cause of religion, race, creed or
national origin."

Urges World Treaty on Bias

A WOMAN axed her young son walk down a road built by the
Peace Corps in Tanganyika.
Peace Corps To Inaugurate
New Program for Juniors
Collegiate Press Service
effort on our part to increase the
NEW YORK-Sargent Shriver, quality of Peace Corps training
director of the Peace Corps, has programs by encouraging juniors
announced a new Senior Year to start training while they are
Program which will enable college still in college."
juniors to enroll for special sum- "The main advantage," he not-
mer training prior to graduation. ed, "is that the applicants can
It will get under way this plan for eventual Peace Corps
spring when 500 to 700 college service. They might then revise
juniors who have applied for the their senior year curriculum to
Peace Corps will be invited to a reflect their interest in a particu-
six-week summer training pro- lar kind of Peace Corps assign-
gram. ment. They will be able to acquire
After summer training, the stu- an increased foreign language fa-
dents will return to their colleges cility.
to complete their senior year. Other Advantages
They will continue their foreign "Further they will be able to
language and area studies on an devote their summers to a career-
individual basis and will receive related purpose at no cost, while
assignments in the spring of their possibly obtaining extra college
senior year. credits. The additional lead time
More Training will give the Peace Corps a bet-
After college graduation in ter opportunity to line up over-
June 1965, they will undergo an- seas assignments appropriate to
other period of Peace Corps train- the individual skills and aptitudes
ing (four to eight weeks) before of the applicants."
going overseas. The program will be expanded
"The Senior Year Program," in 1965 if it fulfills current ex-
Shriver said, "represents a major pectations.

United States expert on the
United Nations subcommission to
eliminate discrimination has pro-
posed a sweeping international
treaty to outlaw segregation, hate
groups and discrimination in pub-
lic accommodations based on race
or color.
The proposals were advanced
by Morris B. Abram, Atlanta-born
New York lawyer who has been
the United States expert on the
subcommission for the last three
The 14-nation subcommission
met for a two weeks session to
draft treaties on elimination of
racial and of religious discrimina-
tion, in line with a recent General
Assembly recommendation.
Not Official
Members of the subcommission
serve as individual experts nom-
inated by their governments, not
as government representatives.
Abram proposed eight articles
for the treaty in definitive lan-
guage and said a ninth-aimed
at hate groups-would be added
after he works out more exact
His proposals went beyond the
official United States position on
public accommondations in the
past. Some American lawmakers

should be excluded from provi-
sions for opening places in public
use to all, regardless of race or
Bound to Legislate
Under Abram's draft, govern-
ments adhering to the treaty
would have to adopt legislation to
give equal facility to all in places
of public use.
During the recent General As-
sembly, the United States held
out against a provision in a UN
draft declaration on racial dis-
The provision called for gov-
ernment action against individ-
uals or groups that preached ha-
tred on racial grounds in terms
that caused or was likely to cause

violence. Nazi-type and anti-Ne-
gro groups were the targets for
those who sought the clause.
Clash of Rights
United States delegates argued
that taking action against those
inciting to violence might inter-
fere with constitutional rights to
free speech. But they finally yield-,
ed, noting only a reservation to a
clause in the declaration whose
broad language assailed those
whose incitement threatened viol-
Under Abram's proposal to curb
hate groups any such incitement
would be punishable by legisla-
tion, and government funds must
be withheld from any such in-

Galbraith Asks All-Out War
On 100 Pockets of Poverty

have argued that small
prises such as boarding




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flR S University Bookstore for the

WASHINGTON - A massive
educational attack on the 100
worst pockets of poverty has been
advocated by Prof. John Ken-
neth Galbraith of Harvard Uni-
Prof. Galbraith, author of the
book "The Affluent Society," said
"poverty can be made to dis-
appear, but not by economy
drivesror stepping up theegrowth
rate any more than it will be ac-
complished by' incantation or
ritualistic washing of the feet,"
the Washington Post reported.
What is needed, Prof. Galbraith
declared, is an all-out public ef-
fort to concentrate on raising ed-
ucational levels across the nation.
This would assist in eradicating
poverty as, "To the best of
knowledge there is no place in
the world where well-educated
people are really poor."
He proposed that the federal
government should select the 100
most poverty-stricken areas in
the nation, provide them with

first rate schools and staff the
teachers "in the manner of the
Peace Corps."
Those who fear federal control
of education are "amply protect-
ed because the educational effort
would not affect them. "Federal
aid to edIucation is feared by
those who live in suburbs that
could easily forego this dcanger,
and by people whose children are
in private schools," he continued.
Prof. Galbraith was critical of
those who have seized upon tax
reduction as an excuse for cur-
tailing public services. ". . . Tax
reduction that. affects public ser-
vices has a double effect in com-
forting. the comfortable and
afflicting the poor," he said.
"To pretend that public ser-
vices are of equal benefit to peo-
ple of all income, and hence that
there is equality of sacrifice in
curtailment, is to work a fraud
on the poorest of our people,"
Prof. Galbraith concluded'.

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