The House of Representatives passed a bill to remove all Confederate statues and the bust of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney from the U.S. Capitol.
The bill passed by a 285 to 120 vote. Sixty-seven Republicans voted with every House Democrat present to pass the bill. To pass in the Senate, 10 Republican senators would need to join every Democrat to support the bill.
The legislation would require the Confederate statues and busts to be removed “from any area of the United States Capitol which is accessible to the public” within 45 days of the resolution’s enactment.
The bill also calls for Taney’s bust to be replaced with the bust of the first African American justice to serve on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall.
Taney wrote the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision on March 6, 1857, which “declared that African Americans were not citizens of the United States and could not sue in Federal courts,” as the bill notes.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the primary author of the bill, tweeted, “Hate and bigotry have no place in the halls of Congress. H.R. 3005 will remove symbols of sedition, slavery, and segregation from the U.S. Capitol. It’s never too late to do the right thing.”
He added, “I am proud to vote to [Remove Hate] from the People’s House today.”
Hate and bigotry have no place in the halls of Congress. H.R. 3005 will remove symbols of sedition, slavery, and segregation from the U.S. Capitol. It’s never too late to do the right thing.
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) June 29, 2021
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said on the House floor ahead of the vote that her “ancestors built this building,” adding, “Imagine how they would feel, knowing that more than 100 years after slavery was abolished in this country, we still paid homage to the very people that betrayed this country in order to keep my ancestors enslaved.”
She continued, “The statues that we display should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation. Monuments to men, or people who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to those ideals.”
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