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 December 18, 2022

Congress to remove bust of Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney who authored Dred Scott decision

Congress has voted to remove a bust of the justice who penned the Dred Scott decision that denied citizenship to black Americans.

The artwork featuring Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney will be taken out of the Capitol as it was considered unsuitable for public display.

The decision

"The measure directs the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to remove Taney's bust, which sits inside the entrance to the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol, and replace it with a bust of Thurgood Marshall, the court's first Black justice," Breitbart News reported.

 "While the removal of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney's bust from the Capitol does not relieve the Congress of the historical wrongs it committed to protect the institution of slavery, it expresses Congress's recognition of one of the most notorious wrongs to have ever taken place in one of its 19 rooms," the bill read, which now requires President Joe Biden's signature.

The background

"House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. David Trone, both D-Md., introduced the legislation in March 2020. The House overwhelmingly passed it a few months later in a 305-113 vote, but it did not advance in the Senate," NBC News reported.

"A statue of Taney, who lived in Maryland, was removed from Maryland's State House grounds in 2017," it added.

The decision follows similar actions in recent years to remove statues and other symbols from those involved in the Civil War and American slavery.

In 2020, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue was removed from the Capitol building, along with four portraits of Confederate House speakers.

The action also follows the recent removal of the last remaining Civil War-related statue in Richmond, Virginia.

In related news, at least the statue of Christopher Columbus in Philadelphia was ruled to stay, allowing it to be uncovered once again.

The decision is divisive to many Americans during a time in which racial issues continue to drive political decisions.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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