S.C. Senate Takes Another Step Toward Removing Confederate Flag
By a 37-3 tally, the South Carolina Senate has given more support to moving a Confederate battle flag from its spot flying on the State House grounds to the Confederate Relic Room. The Senate will need to approve the bill one more time before it can go on to the House.
Monday afternoon's vote was on the the bill's second reading; the Senate will hold another vote Tuesday on its third reading. That means the House won't begin to consider the bill until at least Wednesday.
"The final vote requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage, a rule set under... the 2000 law that moved the Civil War icon off the Capitol dome," reports The State newspaper.
In South Carolina's legislature, a bill "must be read and adopted three times on three separate days in each body," according to The South Carolina Governance Project, which adds that for many bills, the first reading comes in the form of their introduction before the presiding officer.
Today's vote came exactly two weeks after Gov. Nikki Haley stood with members of South Carolina's congressional delegation and other leaders to call for the flag's removal from the State House, saying, "we are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer."
Haley spoke a week after nine black people were shot to death at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church. The chief suspect in the case has been found to have posted multiple images of himself online, posing with the Confederate flag.
One of the victims in that massacre was state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the church known as Mother Emanuel.
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