South Carolina Senate Overwhelmingly Votes To Remove Confederate Flag

Confederate Flag South Carolina

The South Carolina Senate has overwhelmingly voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State Capitol:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has given final approval to a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Capitol.

The 36-3 vote Tuesday now sends the bill to the House, where it faces a less certain future. Republicans met behind closed doors Monday and struggled to reach a consensus on what to do next.

The Senate bill would remove the Confederate flag flying in front of the Statehouse and the flagpole as soon as the governor signs it.

Republican Gov. Nikki Haley urged lawmakers to remove the flag after the killing of nine black people in a historic African-American church in Charleston last month by a gunman police say was motivated by racial hatred.

The matter now moves on to the South Carolina House where, at least according to some reports, it faces a tougher path:

The debate in the House is expected to be fiercer, and perhaps more protracted, than it was in the Senate, which on Monday approved the proposal to remove the battle flag by a 37-to-3 vote. But many people here expect that the House will ultimately support the plan, which would move the flag from its pole outside the State House to the nearby Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.

The battle flag, which has flown above or near the State House for more than 50 years, emerged as a renewed political flash point after the killings last month of nine people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. The suspect in the massacre, Dylann Roof, had previously beenphotographed with the battle flag, and the authorities have described the June 17 assault on Emanuel as a hate crime.

The attack, which reverberated throughout this state, loomed large during Monday’s Senate debate. At one point, Senator Marlon E. Kimpson, a Democrat from Charleston, recited the names of the victims and then said, “God is with them, and they are watching us and encouraging us to live our creed.”

(…)

“If I have to put 500 amendments on this thing to keep it there, then I will do it,” Representative Christopher A. Corley, a Republican of Aiken County, told The Post and Courier, a Charleston newspaper, last month. “This is a nonissue that’s being made an issue by certain groups trying to take advantage of a terrible situation.”

If the House decides to amend the proposal, the Senate would have to agree to the changes.

In a statement on Monday evening, Ms. Haley pressed the House to move quickly after the Senate “rose to this historic occasion, with a large majority of members from both parties coming together in the spirit of unity and healing that is binding our state back together and moving us forward in the right direction.”

There have been signals, though, that the House could engage in an extended debate that would include putting the measure through the committee process. (The Associated Press reported on Monday that the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, F. Gregory Delleney Jr., said he expected the proposal to bypass his committee and move directly to the floor for debate.)

“As you move toward the end of the year, it’s sometimes easier to bounce things between the House and Senate without going through committee, but that’s not usually done for something as momentous as this,” said C. Danielle Vinson, a political scientist at Furman University. “Some don’t want to drag this out, but some do.”

Depending on how things go in the House, the final bill could be ready for Governor Haley’s signature on Thursday and the flag could be down by Friday.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Race and Politics, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    Showing once again how the money wing of the GOP calls the tune. No matter how much the other wings like to think otherwise.

  2. legion says:

    Somebody get a camera on Sen. Bright – I want to see the tantrum he throws over this.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    And all it took was the murder of nine people to get conservatives to consider the issue. Who knew it would be so simple? We might have gotten gay marriage years earlier if we’d known it simply required mass murder.

    Now, how many people have to die before conservatives can think seriously about immigration?

  4. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Now, how many people have to die before conservatives can think seriously about immigration?

    I’m sure you’ve heard some of the hubbub about the SF Pier shooting. They’re already working on it.

    I really do think the right has this idea that the left attempts to profit from murder and mayhem. just look at Rep. Corley’s quote:

    “This is a nonissue that’s being made an issue by certain groups trying to take advantage of a terrible situation.”

  5. LWA says:

    Its a complete non-issue! No reason at all to argue about it!
    Its trivial, a piece of cloth, an abstract symbol, it means nothing!

    But by God, don’t you dare touch it.

  6. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Chris Corley is a dolt, just a new politician on the make. His future in politics is dim.

  7. Tyrell says:

    What will be next, removing General Jackson’s monument at Manassas Battleground ? Taking away memorials and honors to officers in the western wars against the native Americans ? (Generals Grant, Sheridan, Custer, Major Reno)
    What we have is cultural cleansing and history revision gone to seed.

  8. dazedandconfused says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I watched a lot of that State Senate debate on CSpan and, looked at as a whole and not on just the nutbags, that was the finest, most articulate group of politicians I’ve seen in a long time. Shocking when you know the state is essentially an asylum.

    The key sentiment is a sense of honor compelling some form of reciprocal gesture for the awesome display of class and grace made by the victims families.

  9. Deserttrek says:

    @dazedandconfused: “Shocking when you know the state is essentially an asylum.” and you are a world class bigot

  10. dazedandconfused says:

    @Deserttrek:

    Don’t be so humorless. Even a half ass bigot wouldn’t have been complementing the state’s Senate.