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US House Votes to Remove Confederate Statues From Capitol Building

CC BY 2.0 / Phil Roeder / United States Capitol
United States Capitol - Sputnik International
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The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 305-113 to pass legislation to remove Confederate statues from the US Capitol, the home of the US Congress.

The legislation also mandates replacing the bust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney in the Old Supreme Court Chamber with a bust of Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the US' highest court.

Taney authored the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision in 1857 that denied freedom to Scott, an enslaved man. The case was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court that the US Constitution was not meant to provide American citizenship to Black people.

The bill now heads to the US Senate.

"It's time to sweep away the last vestiges of Jim Crow and the dehumanizing of individuals because of the color of their skin that intruded for too long on the sacred spaces of our democracy," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said at a news conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

The latest vote comes one day after the House approved an annual defense bill with a provision that orders the military to rename bases named after Confederate generals. US President Donald Trump has vowed to veto the final bill if it includes that provision.

In recent months, the US has seen nationwide protests against racism and police brutality against Black Americans. The movement was spurred following the death of Black man George Floyd in police custody in late May.

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