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SPLC Action Fund Applauds House Vote to Remove Racist Bust from U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — Today, the House of Representatives passed S. 5229 by voice vote, requiring the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to replace the bust of the late Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in the U.S. Capitol with one honoring the late Justice Thurgood Marshall. The Senate approved the measure earlier this month.

The following statement is from Tafeni English-Relf, director of the SPLC’s Civil Rights Memorial Center:

“The SPLC Action Fund applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation to replace the bust of Roger Taney, author of the infamous, reprehensible Dred Scott decision in 1857, which held that African Americans were not citizens of the United States and that Congress did not have the authority to prohibit slavery*, with a bust of civil rights and legal icon Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“Installing a bust of Justice Marshall in place of the man who authored what is now recognized as one of the worst, most racist decisions in Supreme Court history is very appropriate and long overdue.

“We commend Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Steny Hoyer for their work on this important measure. We eagerly anticipate President Biden’s timely signing of this legislation.




*There are currently seven statues glorifying the Confederacy in the U.S. Capitol.


In February 2022 the SPLC released the third edition of its Whose Heritage? report, data, and map, which tracks public symbols of the Confederacy across the United States. The report shows that more than 2,000 Confederate memorials are still publicly present in the U.S. and over 700 of those are monuments.