The proposal to display a statue of Thomas on the Georgia statehouse grounds has proved divisive among the legislature. Georgia Republicans have strongly endorsed the plan, but Georgia Democrats have taken a more hardline opposition.
"I’d rather them keep a Confederate monument than a statue of Clarence Thomas," Democratic state Rep. Donna McLeod told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "That’s how much I don’t like the idea."
McLeod’s comment recalls the fierce outcry from Democrats who demanded the immediate removal of Confederate monuments nationwide as protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s death engaged in the destruction and removal of statues depicting either slave owners or Confederate heroes.
Democrats strongly opposed Thomas’ appointment to the Supreme Court when allegations of sexual harassment came to light. Anita Hill’s allegations led to rigorous Senate Judiciary Committee hearings led by then-Sen. Joe Biden.
Thomas proceeded to his post following a famous and impassioned speech in his defense, but Democrats have not forgotten the allegations and continue to raise them.
However, some believe that Thomas deserves celebration following his career on the bench. Thomas is the second Black justice to ever serve on the Court and is currently the longest-serving justice.
State Sen. Jason Anavitarte said it’s "only fitting and proper" to honor Thomas, a native of Pin Point in Chatham County, Georgia.
"Thomas deserves to be memorialized so Georgians for years to come can recognize this man and what he accomplished," said Republican Georgia state Sen. Brian Strickland.
Four Confederate monuments remain on city property in Atlanta, according to The Daily Caller. An advisory committee in 2017 was formed to review Confederate street names and monuments in Georgia.