Discharge Petition to Move the Civil Rights Bill Out of the Rules Committee, December 12, 1963
The bill, first introduced in the House of Representatives, made it through the House Judiciary Committee, but faced strong opposition in the House Rules Committee. Howard Smith, Chairman of the Rules Committee, refused to scheduled hearings for the bill. Emanuel Celler, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, attempted to use this discharge petition to move the bill out of committee without holding hearings. The petition failed to gain the required majority of Congress (218 signatures), but forced Chairman Smith to schedule hearings.