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Senate to address removing Confederate statues from Capitol

Jul 01, 2021


Tuesday evening, the House of Representatives voted to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol. The bill had bipartisan support, passing with a vote of 285 – 120. It will now move over to the Senate.

Under the terms of the bill, a bust of Roger B. Taney, the former Supreme Court Justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision, will be replaced with one of Justice Thurgood Marshall. The bill also calls to remove statues of people who voluntarily served in the Confederate Army, including Jefferson Davis. It also would spark removing statues of people who supported slavery, white supremacy and segregation, like John C. Calhoun.

Each state is allowed to send two statues to the Capitol. Of those, about a dozen would be removed under the terms of this bill. Some states are already choosing to remove statues and replace them with other statues. In December, Virginia removed its statue of Robert E. Lee. The Commonwealth announced it will replace that one with one of Barbara Johns, a civil rights leader.

This isn’t the first time Congress has tried to remove these statues. The House passed a similar bill in 2020, but it stalled in the Senate, where people like then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said each state should be able to decide which statues it wants displayed.