Civil Rights Act Of [1957]


SEC. 101. (a) There is created in the executive branch of the Government a Commission on Civil Rights (hereinafter called the "commission"). (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 commission 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.


SEC. 102. (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 subpoena additional witnesses. (g) No evidence or testimony taken in executive session may be released or used in public sessions without the consent of the commission. 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) In 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 testimony and evidence adduced at its hearings. (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.


SEC. 1W. (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 developments 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 Constitution.

(b) The commission shall submit interim reports to the President (3) and to the Congress at such times as either the commission or the President shall deem desirable and shall submit to the President (4) and to the Congress a final and comprehensive report of its activities, findings, 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 recommendations the commission shall cease to exist.


SEC. 105 (a) (5). There shall be a full time staff director for the commission 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 commission may appoint (6) such other per |sonnet as it deems advisable, in accordance with the civil service and classification laws . . .

|(b) The commission shall not accept or Give services of voluntary or uncompensated personnel . . .

(c) The commission may constitute such advising committees (i) 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.

(e) All Federal agencies shall cooperate fully with the commission to the end that it y effectively carry out its functions and duties.

(f) The commission, or on the authorization of the commission any subcommittee of pro or more members, at least one of whom will be of each major political party, may, tar the purpose of carrying out the provifxons of this act, hold such hearings and act it such times and places as the commission or such authorized subcommittee may deem advisable. Subpoenas 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 Section 102 (j) and (k) of this at offer the signature of the chairman of the commission or of such subcommittee, and may be served by any person designated by such chairman.

(g) In case of contumacy or refusal to Sky a subpoena, any District Court of the United States or the United States Court of ant territory or possession, or the District Court of the United States for the District of ( Columbia, within the jurisdiction of which the xinquiry is carried on or within the jurisdiction of which said person guilty of conspiracy or refusal to obey is found or resides tjjr 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 persons to appear be' fore the commission or a subcommittee, thereof, there to produce evidence if so or- r Fed, or there to give testimony touching Abe matter under investigation; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof.


SEC. III There shall be in the Department of Justice one additional assistant attorney general, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall assist the Attorney General in the performance of his duties, and who shall receive compensation at the rate prescribed by law for other assistant attorneys generals.


SEC. 131. (C) Add, immediately following the present text, (13) four new subsec tions 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 of 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 any person is about to engage in any act or practice which would deprive any other person of any right or privilege secured by subsection (a) or (b), the Attorney General may institute for the United States, Or in the nation of the United States, a civil action or other proper proceeding for preventive relief, including an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining 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 UnitedStates shall have jurisdiction of proceedings instituted pursuant to this section and shall exercise the same without regard to whether the party aggrieved shall have exhausted any administrative or other remedies that may be provided by law.

(e) (14) 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 such counsel.


SEC. 151. In all cases of criminal contempt arising under the provisions 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 jury; 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 on 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.

This section shall not apply to contempts committed in the presence of the court or so near thereto as to interfere directly with the administration 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, by civil contempt proceedings, without a jury, to secure compliance with or to prevent obstruction of, as distinguished from punishment for violations of, any lawful 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....