On Tuesday (June 29) the House voted to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol in an effort to purge public symbols of racism and white supremacy. The legislation, approved in a 285-120, will clear the way for statues like that of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, and other white supremacist figures, to be taken out of public display.
“We can’t change history, but we can certainly make it clear that which we honor and that which we do not honor,” Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland said, according to The New York Times. “Symbols of hate and division have no place in the halls of Congress.” The legislation was supported by 67 Republicans, though the majority of GOP lawmakers voted against it.
The bill is now headed to the Senate where Democrats have reportedly promised to use their majority to get the measure passed. Senate Republicans are predicted to use ideological and philosophical considerations to keep the statues in the Capitol building.
Among the statues set to be removed is Chief Justice Roger B. Taney who delivered the turning point Dred Scott v. Sanford decision, denying citizenship rights to Black Americans. The House’s recently passed bill would replace Taney’s bust with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice.