Black lawmaker blows up plans for Judge Thomas’s monument

Atlanta (AP) —The Republican-controlled Senate in Georgia voted on Monday to build a monument to the conservative US Supreme Court justice and Clarence Thomas from Georgia.

The monument will be funded by a private donation and will be built somewhere in the State Capitol if the bill is to receive the final passage. It was approved by a 32 to 21 vote and is currently being considered by the State Capitol.

Statues celebrating the people of the State Capitol are generally erected after their death. Some opponents of Thomas’ monument said lawmakers should at least wait until he retired.

Atlanta Democratic Senator Nan O’Rock doesn’t know “what else will happen in an individual’s life.” “You put a statue on him. If things go wrong, if someone gets lost, you don’t want to pull it down later.”

Former President Jimmy Carter, 97, has a statue in the State Capitol. This is a rare honor for those who are still alive. His height made him worthy of a monument, and the same applies to Thomas, said Senator Ben Watson, a Republican in the Savannah who co-sponsored Thomas’ bill.

“I didn’t agree with everything President Carter did. He’s a great Georgian style and we’re proud of,” Watson said. “I hope you feel the same about Thomas justice. He is a wonderful person.”

Thomas was born in Pinpoint, Georgia and grew up in the savanna. He was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President George HW Bush in 1991 and became the second black judge in the court.

For the past 30 years, he has been one of the most conservative Supreme Court judges, Now exercise considerable influence Three appointed presidents, former President Donald Trump, who moved the court further to the right, have joined.

Thomas called on the judge to overturn the groundbreaking Roe v. Wade decision, which expanded the right to abortion throughout the country.

He also opposed an important part of the affirmative action and voting rights law enacted during the civil rights movement. These positions were criticized Monday by Democratic Senator Nikki Merritt, who said he had undermined African Americans.

“There is no problem with him being a conservative or a Republican,” Black’s Merritt said. “I think he is a hypocrite and a traitor.”

“It seems that white Americans want to promote Judge Thomas, but there is increasing evidence that he has overturned the struggle of black Americans many times,” she added.

Merit also quoted former employee Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Thomas at a bruise confirmation hearing in 1991 — he denied.

Watson later accused Merit’s comment of “wasting time” and “calling for a name.” Under his bill, a committee of state legislators appointed by the Speaker of the House, the Governor, and the Vice-Governor (now all Republicans) will have final say on the design and placement of the Thomas monument. increase.

Republican Senator Brian Strickland said the monument acknowledges Thomas’ life story and his rise from poverty to the Supreme Court.

“Judge Thomas’s story is about Georgia. It’s about who he is, and he was thrown at him at a hearing more than 30 years ago, not the Supreme Court’s decision he wrote more than 30 years ago. It’s not a claim. “

Senator Emanuel Jones, also black, said he likes to hear about how Thomas grew up. Many black lawmakers faced a similar struggle, he said, “but we don’t forget where we came from.”

Democrat Jones quoted Thomas’s opinion, which he said would hurt African Americans.

“We are not talking about Thomas justice here as a person. We all have great respect for his many achievements. That is his policy. It is his ruling. We. It is his decision that I find it very unpleasant. “

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