From CQ Fact Sheet on John F. Kennedy, Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1960.

Civil Rights -- Immigration

1960 -- Motion to limit debate by invoking cloture on the Civil Rights filibuster (two-thirds majority required). Rejected 42-53 (D 30-33; R 12-20) March 10. Kennedy FOR.
1960 -- Motion to table (kill) an amendment to civil rights bill to add Part III, empowering the Attorney General to seek injunction to protect any civil right. Tabling motion agreed to 55-38 (D 34-28; R 21-10) March 10. Kennedy AGAINST.
1960 -- Motion to table (kill) an amendment to the bill to provide for court-appointed referees or Presidentially appointed enrollment officers to register voters after a court has found a pattern or practice of discrimination. Tabling motion agreed to 51-43 (D 27-35; R 24-8) March 24. Kennedy AGAINST.
1959 -- Extend life of Civil Rights Commission for two years and appropriate $500,000 to it. Agreed to 7l-18 (D 43-17; R 28-1) Sept. 14. Kennedy FOR.
1957 -- A point of order against a move to bypass the House-passed civil rights bill around the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rejected 39-45 (D 34-11; R 5-34) June 20. The rejection permitted the bill to go straight on the Senate calendar. Kennedy FOR.
1957 -- Eliminate section of civil rights bill authorizing Attorney General to institute civil action for preventive relief in civil rights cases under the 14th Amendment. Agreed to 52-38 (D 34-13; R 18-25) July 24. Kennedy AGAINST.
1957 -- Guarantee jury trials in all cases of criminal contempt and provide uniform methods of selecting federal court juries. Agreed to 51-42 (D 39-9; R 12-33) Aug. 2. Kennedy FOR.
1956 -- Constitutional amendment to nominate Presidential candidates by national primary and elect President by direct popular vote. Rejected 13-69 (D 11-28; R 2-41) March 27. Kennedy AGAINST.
1952 -- McCarran-Walter Immigration Act. Passage of bill over President's veto. Passed 278-113 (D 107-90; R 170-23) June 26. Kennedy AGAINST.
1947 -- Anti-poll tax. Passed 290-112 (D 73-98; R 216-14) July 21. Kennedy FOR.

Voting Scores

CQ's Voting Participation Scores measure the percentage of roll calls on which a Member votes; On the Record Scores measure the percentage of times a Member went on the record on a roll-call vote; Party Unity and Party Opposition Scores measure the percentage of times a Member voted with or in opposition to the majority of his party on roll-call votes when his party opposed the stand taken by the opposition majority; Presidential Support and Opposition Scores measure the percentage of times a Member supported the Presidential position on roll-call votes; Conservative Coalition Scores measure the percentage of times a Member supported or opposed the stand of Republicans and Southern Democrats when they formed a coalition against Northern Democrats on roll-call votes.

Here are Kennedy's scores since he became a Member of the Senate in 1953: (A blank indicates that CQ did not make the study in that year.)

Congress Voting Participation
On the Record
Party Unity
Party Opposition
Coalition Support (%)
Opposition (%)
83rd 81 92 43 35 69 -- -- --
84th 60 92 34 22 56 17 -- --
85th 83 99 48 35 70 10 -- --
1959 77 100 31 48 70 9 2 65

In 1955, when he was recovering from his operation, Kennedy was the lowest ranking Democrat in Voting Participation and the second lowest in On the Record Scores. In 1959, he was in a three-way tie for fourth lowest Democrat in voting participation and was one of 20 Democrats who had 100 percent On the Record Scores.

Senate Filibuster Rule

1959 -- Revise Senate rule 22 to permit limitation of debate, after a certain time has elapsed, by a majority of the Senate. Rejected 28-67 (D 20-43; R 8-24) Jan. 12. Kennedy FOR.

Page 5 of 9  Previous page  |  Next page