CIVIL RIGHTS: Within the Framework

Working from fragmentary records, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission ruefully estimated last September that in the South only one Negro out of every four of voting age was registered. To thwart systematic exclusion of eligible Negroes from voting lists, the commission proposed that, where investigation proved exclusion, the President appoint federal registrars to guarantee voting rights denied by local officials. Promptly denounced by Southerners, the proposal was coolly received by President Eisenhower and Attorney General William P. Rogers. One reason: the registrar plan, as a direct executive remedy, would frontally assault what remained of "states' rights'' and might ultimately...

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