Category:
Civil Rights Law and Policy
Difficulty Level:
Extreme

Civil Rights Laws

In what years did the Eisenhower Administration enact civil rights laws, and what was the subject matter the laws addressed?

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Historical Notes

In 1957, President Eisenhower sent Congress a proposal for civil rights legislation. The result was the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The new Act established the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department and empowered federal prosecutors to obtain court injunctions against interference with the right to vote. It also established a federal Civil Rights Commission with authority to investigate discriminatory conditions and recommend corrective measures.

Following the 1957 Civil Rights Act, Eisenhower introduced another civil rights bill in late 1958.  The 1960 Civil Rights Act introduced penalties to be levied against anybody who obstructed someone’s attempt to register to vote or someone’s attempt to actually vote.