Dwight D. Eisenhower 1964 Typed Letter Signed – To His Brother – Civil Rights & Constitution Content


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34th President.  Typed letter signed (TLS) “Ike”, one page, May 28, 1964, 7×10.5, personal Gettysburg, Pennsylvania stationery, to his brother, Edgar Eisenhower, in full:

I have heard that the Congress, in one of its few bursts of wisdom, has included in the so-called ‘Civil Rights Bill’ a declaration that where individual States have enacted satisfactory legislation to assure equal opportunity to all and equal standing before the law, and enforce those laws properly, the Federal Government will not claim exclusive jurisdiction.

While I agree, largely, with your criticism of the Supreme Court, I scarcely see how the Federal Government can fail to take cognizance of the 14th and 15th Amendments and violations thereof. The Constitution and treaties, along with laws made in accordance therewith, are the supreme laws of the land.

In fine condition.  Two file holes at top.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on  July 2, 1964.  It passed the House of Representatives on February 10, 1964, and after a 54-day filibuster, it passed the Senate on June 19, 1964.

The Act was a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and later sexual orientation and gender identity. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools and public accommodations, and employment discrimination.

Initially, powers given to enforce the act were weak, but these were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment, and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.

The two brothers (there were five Eisenhower brothers in all) were very different. Edgar, who held very strong politically-conservative views, felt that the federal government was usurping power from the states.  Because of his strong feelings against centralization, Edgar appears to have avoided Washington throughout his brother’s administration, even refusing to attend his second inauguration. Yet according to letters between them, the brothers’ relationship was usually amicable, often lighthearted.