NEWSLETTER: Removing Symbols of Hate and Racism from the U.S. Capitol Building


Last week I introduced legislation to remove the bust of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney from the U.S. Capitol building and replace it with a bust of Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall. H.R. 3005 would also remove statues or busts of those that served voluntarily in the Confederate States of America from public display in the U.S. Capitol. This bill, which I introduced with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, would take important steps to ensure that the legacy of slavery and racism is not celebrated in the halls of our government.


In writing the majority opinion in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney declared that Black Americans could not be citizens of the United States or be awarded the same constitutional rights and freedoms. This decision represents the dark chapter of racism, slavery, and sedition in our nation’s history. Chief Justice Taney’s decision was in direct opposition to everything our country stands for, and his bustshould not continue to hold a place of honor in the Capitol building. Instead, my legislation would replace Chief Justice Taney’s bust with one of civil rights champion and the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. Justice Marshall was a Marylander of great courage and decency. I can think of no better person to be honored in the Capitol.

Just as the Maryland General Assembly did some years ago, the United States Congress should take action and remove Chief Justice Taney’s bust from a place of honor in the Capitol building. My legislation passed the House last year, but unfortunately was not considered in the Republican-led Senate. I will work with my colleagues to ensure the bill passes the House again and, this time, is considered in the Senate. It’s never too late to do the right thing, and this legislation would work to right a historic wrong while ensuring our Capitol reflects the principles and ideals of what Americans stand for.

As always, I encourage all Fifth District residents to continue to share their concerns and insights with me by contacting my office or connecting with me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. If you are experiencing a personal difficulty such as issues accessing veterans benefits or another problem regarding a federal agency and you wish for my office to place an inquiry on your behalf, please complete the casework request form by clicking here.  

Sincerely Yours,   

For more information about our releases, please contact Maya Valentine at 202-226-1290.