Senate Apologizes for Not Enacting Anti-Lynching Law
More Than a Dozen Senators Decline to Sign On as Co-Sponsors of the
Resolution, Outraging Supporters
Jun. 13, 2005 - The U.S. Senate formally apologized this evening for
its role in one of the darkest chapters of American history.
At least 4,749 Americans are known to have been lynched during a time
when the Senate failed to act on some 200 anti-lynching bills....
To the surprise and outrage of the resolution's supporters, more than
a dozen senators declined to sign on as co-sponsors. Senator Majority
Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., did not require a roll-call vote on the
resolution and scheduled debate to begin after normal working hours.
With nearly 200 descendants of lynching victims observing the
proceedings from the visitors' gallery, the Senate approved the
measure by voice vote late today....
Today's Senate apology had its own share of trouble getting to the
floor. Among the senators who declined to co-sponsor the resolution
were Mississippi Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, both
Republicans. Cochran said he would not vote against it, but would not
be present to vote for it....