The House has voted to remove a bust of former Chief Justice Roger Taney, who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision establishing that Blacks weren’t citizens, from the U.S. Capitol and replace it with a likeness of Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court’s first Black justice.
The measure, which had already passed in the Senate, was approved Wednesday by the House and now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature, NPR reported.
Taney’s bust must be removed from its place in the Capitol’s Old Supreme Court Chamber within 45 days of the law being enacted and Marshall’s likeness must be in the Capitol two years afterward, according to the legislation.
“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 protecting the institution of slavery, it expressed Congress’s recognition of one of the most notorious wrongs to have ever taken place in one of its rooms, that of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney’s Dred Scott vs. Sandford decision,” the legislation said.
The statue of Taney, who served as the chief justice from 1836 to 1864, is at the entrance of the Old Supreme Court Chamber where the high court met from 1810-1860, NPR reported.