SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 4 - reading 3

Questions 1-11 are based on the following

Passage 1 is an excerpt from a speech by Senator Everett Dirksen. Passage 2 is an excerpt from a speech by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield. Both speeches were delivered on the floor of the United States Senate in 1964. In 1964, the United States Senate debated the Civil Rights Act, a bill outlawing discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, or nationality. Several senators opposed to the bill attempted to block its passage, prompting a response from the bill’s supporters.

Passage 1

Today the Senate is stalemated in its efforts to enact a civil

rights bill, one version of which has already been approved

by the House by a vote of more than 2 to 1. That the Senate
wishes to act on a civil rights bill can be divined from the
5 fact that the motion to take up was adopted by a vote of 67 to

There are many reasons why cloture* should be invoked

and a good civil rights measure enacted.
First. It is said that on the night he died, Victor Hugo
10 wrote in his diary, substantially this sentiment:
“Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has

The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing

in government, in education, and in employment. It will not
15 be stayed or denied. It is here.
Second. Years ago, a professor who thought he had

developed an incontrovertible scientific premise submitted it

to his faculty associates. Quickly they picked it apart. In

agony he cried out, "Is nothing eternal?" To this one of his
20 associates replied, "Nothing is eternal except change."
Since the act of 1875 on public accommodations and the

Supreme Court decision of 1883 which struck it down,

America has changed. The population then was 45 million.

Today it is 190 million. In the Pledge of Allegiance to the
25 Flag we intone, "One nation, under God." And so it is. It is

an integrated nation. Air, rail, and highway transportation

make it so. A common language makes it so. A tax pattern

which applies equally to white and nonwhite makes it so.

Literacy makes it so. The mobility provided by eighty
30 million autos makes it so. The accommodations laws in

thirty-four states and the District of Columbia makes it so.

The fair employment practice laws in thirty states make it so.

Yes, our land has changed since the Supreme Court decision

of 1883.
35 As Lincoln once observed:
“The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must

rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think

anew and act anew. We must first disenthrall ourselves and

then we shall save the Union.”

Passage 2

40 Mr. President:*
Speaking for myself, may I say at the outset that I should

have preferred it had the issue been resolved before my time

as a Senator, or had it not come to the fore until after. The

Senator from Montana has no lust for con­flict on this matter.
45 Yet this question is one which invites conflict, for it divides

But, Mr. President, great public issues are not subject to

our personal timetables. They do not accommodate

themselves to our individual preference or convenience.
50 They emerge in their own way and in their own time. We do

not compel them. They compel us.
We look in vain if we look backward to past achievements

which might spare this Senate the necessity of a difficult

decision on the civil rights question. We hope in vain if we
55 hope that this issue can be put over safely to another

tomorrow, to be dealt with by another generation of Senators.
The time is now. The cross­roads is here in the Senate.
To be sure, the issue will not be fully resolved by what we

do today. Its resolution depends also on what is done
60 tomorrow and on many to­morrows. Nor will the issue be

fully resolved by the Sen­ate or the Congress. Indeed, it will

involve all Americans and all the institutions, pub­lic and

private, which hold us as a society of diversity in one nation,

and it will involve all for a long time to come. In truth, it is a
65 universal issue which, for this nation, having begun with the

Declaration of Independence and persisted through the

decades, will hardly dissolve in the Senate of the 88th

Nevertheless, at this moment in the nation's history, it is
70 the Senate's time and turn.
But, insofar as the majority leader is concerned, he must

state to the Senate that it would be a tragic error if this body,

as a whole, were to elect the closed-eyes course of inaction.

That course, Mr. President, would disclose a cavalier
75 disinterest or a legislative impotence on this issue, and either

would be complete­ly inconsonant with the serious domestic

situation which now confronts us.
It is bad enough to evade decision on any major proposal

of any President. It is inexcusable in this issue, which has
80 drawn a curtain of uncertainty and insecurity over the entire

nation, and over which blood has already run in the streets.
In these circumstances, I cannot believe that this Senate

will abdicate its constitutional responsibilities.

*cloture: a legislative procedure for ending a debate and taking a vote
*The presiding officer of the United States Senate is addressed as “Mr. President” or “Madame President.”

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Question 1 As used in line 4, “divined” most nearly means