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James Eastland (D-MS)

Related Content: James Eastland: A Featured Biography

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The Senate Judiciary Committee, under the chairmanship of Senator James Eastland of Mississippi (pictured), was known as the “graveyard” of civil rights legislation. On February 17, 1964, Majority Leader Mike Mansfield announced his intention to bypass the committee and place the civil rights bill directly on the Senate calendar. “The procedures which the leadership will follow are not usual, but neither are they unprecedented,” he noted. “And the reasons for unusual procedures are too well known to require elaboration.”
credit: U.S. Senate Historical Office