- The House and Senate voted to remove a bust of the author of the Dred Scott decision from the Capitol.
- The bust of former Chief Justice Roger Taney will be replaced by a bust of Thurgood Marshall.
- Taney wrote in that decision that people of African descent were “beings of an inferior order.”
The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to remove the bust of former Chief Justice Roger Taney, best known for ruling that Black Americans couldn’t be US citizens, from outside the Old Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol.
The bust of Taney is expected to be replaced with a bust of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the high court’s first Black justice.
Both the House and the Senate passed the bill by a voice vote, signalling no opposition from any lawmaker. It now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
Taney wrote the majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford decision of 1856, which held that Black Americans could not be US citizens.
Taney wrote in that opinion that people of African descent were “beings of an inferior order” and “altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
The text of the bill states that Taney’s bust is “unsuitable for the honor of display to the many visitors to the Capitol” due to his authorship of the opinion.
A previous version of the bill, which was broader and also called for the removal of other Confederate statues in the Capitol, passed the House in July 2020 with 113 Republican votes in opposition. It was not taken up by the Senate, which was then held by Republicans.
Once signed by Biden, the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library will have 45 days to remove the bust, and 2 years to replace it with a bust of Marshall.
Read the original article on Business Insider