Congressional leaders have been working together to remove statues of those who reflect racist ideals, and replace them by honoring pioneers who have contributed to America’s advancement.
In a vote by the House, a bust of Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, is set to replace one of the chief justices who wrote the racist 1857 Dred Scott decision, ruling against Black American citizenship.
According to Axios, the House passed the legislation to remove the marble bust of the former Chief Justice Roger Taney, following a voice vote to have it replaced with one of Marshall.
The vote directed the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to pull down Taney’s bust from public display and make the replacement of the statues near the entrance to the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol.
I’m pleased a bust of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, whose commitment to civil rights and the advancement of our most marginalized communities, will be placed in the Capitol to represent the principles of democracy & freedom we cherish today.
— James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) December 15, 2022
Reportedly, the bill was passed in Senate last week and has been prepared to be sent along to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
According to Majority Leader, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) introduced legislation to remove the statue of Taney from display in March 2020, praising Marshall for his efforts in moving America forward.
I was proud to speak on the House Floor today in support of Senate-passed legislation to #RemoveHate by removing the statue of Dred Scott decision author Roger B. Taney from the Capitol and commissioning one of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice. pic.twitter.com/Vtm4Kynsu3
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) December 14, 2022
“A bust of Chief Justice Taney should not be displayed in a place of honor in our nation’s Capitol,” Hoyer said in a 2020 statement. “In Maryland we made the decision to remove a statue of Taney from the State House grounds, reflecting his shameful contribution to the evil system of slavery and its defense, and we ought to do the same here. ‘We are better than this,’ as our late colleague Elijah Cummings would say. It is time to make it clear to visitors from across our nation and from abroad that America celebrates champions of inclusion and equality, not proponents of hate and injustice.”
Marshall was sworn in as the first Black member of the U.S. Supreme Court in October 1967.
BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported that the nation celebrated the life of Marshall’s late wife, 94-year-old Cecilia “Cissy” Suyat Marshall, who died on Nov. 22.