LEGISLATION NEEDS ONE MORE VOTE BEFORE MOVING TO S.C. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
|| By FITSNEWS || The South Carolina Senate voted overwhelmingly to remove the Confederate flag from the north lawn of the S.C. State House this week.
Only three Senators – Lee Bright, Harvey Peeler and Danny Verdin – objected to the proposal.
Another supporter of the flag – S.C. Senator Tom Corbin – was absent.
Also absent were Senators Ray Cleary, Greg Gregory, Shane Martin and Shane Massey.
The deciding tally came moments after Senators voted 36-3 against an amendment that would have put the matter to a public vote. Another amendment which would have allowed the banner to fly on Confederate Memorial Day was defeated by a 22-16 margin.
The bill was scheduled to receive a routine third reading on Tuesday before being sent to the S.C. House of Representatives, but Bright objected to this customary procedure – meaning a two-thirds vote will be required to send the measure across the lobby.
Obviously that margin shouldn’t be a problem.
The rebel banner has become an issue again in the aftermath of last month’s horrific, racially motivated “Holy City Massacre” – the mass murder of nine black churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, S.C. The Mother Emanuel victims – including S.C. Senator Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor – were gunned down during a Bible study by Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist who used the Confederate flag as his calling card.
We’ve written extensively in the aftermath of the shooting in support of removing the flag – and doing so expeditiously. We’ve also provided some extensive historical context related to this debate (see here and here).
Assuming two-thirds of lawmakers give the flag removal bill third reading on Tuesday, the measure will be taken up by the S.C. House of Representatives – where it will have to navigate a contentious debate over a proposed replacement banner.
House members have three options: They can pass the Senate bill, amend it or vote it down.
If they amend it, the Senate would have to concur with any changes prior to the legislation being sent to S.C. governor Nikki Haley – a former flag supporter who now says she wants the banner to come down.
Our advice? The House needs to concur with the Senate and take the banner down – free and clear – without insisting on anything in return. Then both chambers need to move on to addressing the myriad of issues which make South Carolina one of the poorest, least intelligent, most underemployed, most dangerous states in America.
Which hurts all of its citizens …