State Watch

Georgia Senate votes for Clarence Thomas monument despite objections from Black senators

The Georgia state Senate on Monday voted in favor of erecting a statue of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to honor the Peach State native, The Associated Press reports.

The state’s Republican-controlled Senate opted to honor the conservative justice despite pushback from several Black senators, some of whom called Thomas a “hypocrite and a traitor,” according to the AP.

Among the points of contention is that the justice is still alive, bucking tradition that monuments are typically put up after a person dies. Some opponents said such an honor should wait until he at least retires.

“You put a statue up to him, you don’t want to be pulling it down later if things go badly, if the person goes astray,” said Democratic state Sen. Nan Orrock.

Other Democratic senators objected due to Thomas’s stances on the court.

“It seems like white America keeps wanting to promote Justice Thomas, but we see more evidence where time and time again he subverts the struggles of Black Americans,” Democratic state Sen. Nikki Merritt told the AP.

Thomas, who became the high court’s second Black justice when he was confirmed in 1991, has drawn criticism for his views on affirmative action and certain voting rights legislation, notes the AP.

The measure to honor Thomas now heads to the state House after it passed 32 to 21 in the state Senate. If approved, the monument, which will be paid for via private donations, will be on display in the state Capitol.

Tags Clarence Thomas Georgia Supreme Court

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