Shall We Slow Down on FEPC?: Progress Without Federal Compulsion
The result of the fight over civil rights at both conventions was a platform which seems to half-satisfy most of the proponents as well as most of the opponents of a strong FEPC. In effect, both parties agreed to defer the working out of their internal cleavages on this difficult subject until after the election. But we can already see what the effect of the renewed combat will be.
On the Democratic side, Senators Humphrey and Lehman have made clear their intention to fight on for a compulsory FEPC; and there is no question of the determination of the Southern bloc to fight against it furiously and, with their Republican allies, successfully. It was the late Senator Wherry, Republican of Nebraska, backed by his prairie and Rocky Mountain colleagues, who devised the Senate rule which requires sixty-four Senators to break a filibuster, and which insures the South’s success. If and when FEPC again comes to the Senate floor, it seems a safe bet that the Republicans from the wide open spaces will again provide the Southern Democrats with the votes they need to beat cloture. On the other side will stand, ranged alongside the Northern and Pacific Coast Democrats, their Republican colleagues from the same regions.
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