Until then, the measure had occupied the Senate for 60 working days, including six Saturdays.A day earlier, Democratic Whip Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, the bill's manager, concluded he had the 67 votes required at that time to end the debate and end the filibuster.Smith, a Democrat and avid segregationist from Virginia, indicated his intention to keep the bill bottled up indefinitely. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, changed the political situation.Kennedy's successor as president, Lyndon Johnson, made use of his experience in legislative politics, along with the bully pulpit he wielded as president, in support of the bill.Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield took a novel approach to prevent the bill from being relegated to Judiciary Committee limbo.
Said Russell: "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states." The most fervent opposition to the bill came from Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC): "This so-called Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary, unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason.
However, it did not include a number of provisions deemed essential by civil rights leaders including protection against police brutality, ending discrimination in private employment, or granting the Justice Department power to initiate desegregation or job discrimination lawsuits.