Todd C. Peppers


Over the last several years, there has been a vigorous debate as to whether monuments and memorials of Confederate leaders and controversial historical figures should be purged from the public square. These conversations have included former Supreme Court justices and have led to the removal of multiple statues of former Chief Justice Roger Taney, author of the infamous “Dred Scott” decision. Drawing on the arguments mounted for and against the removal of statues, this article explores the decision of a small liberal arts college to strip the name of former Supreme Court Justice James Clark McReynolds from a campus building. The article concludes that future decisions regarding monuments and memorials to other justices will involve not only consideration of the justices’ jurisprudence but also public and private acts of discrimination and racial animus.