Home votes to take away from Capitol, E.D. White

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives passed bill Tuesday that would remove Confederate statues from the Capitol, including one of former US Supreme Court Justice ED White von Thibodaux.

“This sacred space, this temple of democracy has been polluted for too long. We shouldn’t forget history. We have to learn from history. But we shouldn’t honor what pollutes the principles we … stand for.” said the chairman of the US House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, D-Md., before the vote. “It is time to remove these symbols of slavery, racial segregation and sedition from these halls.”

The bill was passed with 285 votes to 120. All Democrats and 67 Republicans present voted in favor. The bill is going to the Senate for consideration, where it would take 10 Republican Senators to join any Democrat to pass the Upper Chamber.

Houma-Thibodaux’s two representatives, both Republicans, split over the measure, with Metairie’s Steve Scalise voting for the bill and Baton Rouge’s Garret Graves voting against.

Legislation would require states to remove and replace all statues honoring members of the Confederation in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the Capitol by “prohibiting anyone from serving as an officer or volunteer with the Confederate States or the armed forces or have served the government of a state “. State while the state rebelled against the United States “from the collection.

ED White Statue:ED White statue removed from the steps of the Louisiana Supreme Court

Debate on the legacy of ED White

A bronze statue of Edward Douglass White by Thibodaux stands in the National Statuary Hall of the US Capitol.

The debate over memorials to ED White, a white racist who was the first Louisiana native to appear on the US Supreme Court, has been going on for years. In December, the Louisiana Supreme Court moved a statue of White from its pedestal outside the French Quarter building to a museum inside to request its removal.

White was born near Thibodaux on November 8, 1845, and joined the Confederate Army as a teenager during the Civil War. He then took part in the Battle of Liberty Place, an armed white uprising that briefly wrested control of New Orleans from the reconstruction period in 1874.

He served as a Senator and Justice on the Louisiana Supreme Court and was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Grover Cleveland, where he served for 27 years until his death in 1921. During his tenure he voted in Plessy v. Ferguson and. majority made several other infamous rulings upholding Jim Crow’s segregation and depriving black Americans of civil rights.

From our archive:Confederate monument debate arrives

Although a number of Republicans supported the bill, they used the debate to point out that the Democrats represented the South during the Civil War and Jim Crow’s era. California minority leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the Democrats as racial hypocrites.

“The Democratic Party doubled this shameful story by replacing the racism of the past with the racism of Critical Race Theory,” he said, referring to the academic study of systemic racism in American life.

The House of Representatives passed a similar bill last year, but it stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Now that the Democrats hold a majority, they have a better chance of enforcement.

Reintroduced the law in May, Hoyer said, “It is never too late to do the right thing, and this law would help correct a historical injustice while ensuring that our Capitol reflects the principles and ideals of what for.” the Americans are standing. “

Each state contributes two statues of people of historic importance on display in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall – from Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen of Vermont to disability activist Helen Keller of Alabama.

The statues include notable racial segregation

The bill also calls for the removal of a bust of former Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, who authored the Dred Scott ruling in 1857, in which enslaved people were not citizens and had no right to sue.

“Why should you have a place of honor and veneration in this building?” said Rep Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who noted that Taney’s hometown, Frederick, Maryland, removed the statue of his only begotten son five years ago.

“In the name of original intent, Judge Taney converted our constitution into a pact for white men,” said Raskin. “He shamed the Supreme Court. It would take the civil war, the reconstruction changes and the civil rights movement to dismantle the white supremacist constitution.”

Taney’s bust, located in the old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol, would be replaced with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., Said he was against the law because Marshall Roe v. Wade supported the decision that legalized abortion in 1973.

“I’ll always think of him as … the guy who kind of stepped on the gas and legalized late-term abortions,” he said.

The bill would remove the statues of former Vice President John Calhoun, North Carolina Governor Charles Aycock, and Arkansas Senate John Clarke, who the law says plays an important role in defending slavery and racial segregation.

If the statues were provided by a state – for example, White was provided by Louisiana – the Capitol architect, the office in charge of maintaining the Capitol, would send them back. States could replace statues.

“What we should do today is put these statues in the trash can of history,” said Rep. James Clyburn, DS.C.

Any bust or statue that is removed and not owned by a state is left to the Capitol architect.

Confederate memorials have been around since the death of George Floyd, a black man who was chauvinized on Friday, sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for murder for murder. According to February data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 90 Confederate monuments were demolished or removed from public spaces in 2020.

In early 2020, there were nearly 800 Confederate monuments in the U.S., a number that dropped to about 700 by the end of last year.

The Capitol has 10 Confederate statues, some of which are already being removed and replaced by the states that sent them.

– Contributors: N’dea Yancey-Bragg, Christal Hayes, Associated Press, and The Courier and Daily Comet.

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