Mark DeWolfe Howe '28, professor of Law, yesterday challenged Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy's attempts to trim the sweeping civil rights bill drafted by a House judiciary subcommittee.
Howe said that although some modification of the subcommittee's bill is necessary to gain passage in the House, Kennedy has offered additional concessions that would not substantially improve the bill's chances on the House floor.
"I don't believe victory or defeat of the civil right legislation hinges on anything other than the public accommodations section," Howe said.
"I am sorry the Attorney General opposes extension of the literacy test provision to include State elections as well as Federal elections. I am also sorry that he does not want the power to initiate equity proceedings in cases where State officials are persistently acting to deprive persons of their civil liberties," he said.
Agrees on One Point
Howe agreed, however, with Kennedy's opposition to the comprehensive public accommodations section drafted by the subcommittee. This section, which would have Federal anti-discriminatory statutes apply to any business that "operates under State or local authorization, permission, or license," was termed by Howe as "both politically and legally inadvisable."
The House Judiciary Committee is now discussing the subcommittee draft and is reported to be sympathetic to Kennedy's proposed modifications.