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The Southern Poverty Law Center Applauds President Biden’s Signing to Bring Bust of Justice Thurgood Marshall to Statuary Hall

WASHINGTON — Today, President Biden signed S. 5229, requiring the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to replace the bust of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in the U.S. Capitol with one honoring the late Justice Thurgood Marshall. 

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

“The Southern Poverty Law Center applauds President Biden for his signing of legislation to replace the bust of a proslavery chief justice with one of civil rights and legal icon Justice Thurgood Marshall. We commend Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for their leadership in securing passage of this measure.  

“Adding a Thurgood Marshall bust in National Statuary Hall to commemorate the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice is appropriate and timely. Justice Marshall is a true legal hero, role model, and someone all Americans can take pride in being represented by as people explore our shared history during visits to the U.S. Capitol. 

“The consequences of the reprehensible Dred Scott decision on Black Americans are still felt today, 165 years later. This is why we continue to ask Congress – why is it taking so long to do what’s right?  

“According to the SPLC’s Whose Heritage? report, eight statues are still glorifying the Confederacy in the U.S. Capitol. The next logical step is to approve legislation that removes all the offensive Confederate statues littering the National Statuary Hall Collection and immediately return them to their home states.”