BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SJR 15


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          SENATE THIRD READING


          SJR  
          15 (Glazer)


          As Amended  July 15, 2015


          Majority vote


          SENATE VOTE:  31-2


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Judiciary       |8-1  |Mark Stone, Wagner,   |Gallagher           |
          |                |     |Burke, Chau, Chiu,    |                    |
          |                |     |Cristina Garcia,      |                    |
          |                |     |Holden, Ting          |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 


          SUMMARY:  Urges Congress and the President of the United States  
          to rename federal buildings, parks, and properties currently  
          named for elected or military leaders of the Confederate States  
          of America.  Specifically, this resolution:  


          1)Finds and declares that whereas; 









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             a)   The Confederate States of America and its secessionist  
               movement were rooted in the defense of slavery.


             b)   Using names of Confederate leaders on federal property  
               deepens the pain of those living under the legacy of  
               slavery.


             c)   The United States continues to struggle with racial  
               equality and tolerance and the continued use of Confederate  
               names in public places is offensive to Americans.


             d)   The horrific shooting deaths of nine African Americans  
               attending church in South Carolina, and images of the  
               shooter wrapping himself in the Confederate flag, points to  
               the continued use of Confederate symbols to demean, offend,  
               and wound whole segments of our society.


             e)   The use of Confederate leaders' names in public schools,  
               buildings, parks, roadways, or other federally owned  
               property in California only serves to further the  
               discriminatory agenda of current sympathizers of the  
               ideology of the Confederate States, and is antithetical to  
               California's mission of racial equality and tolerance. 


          1)Resolves that the Legislature urge the Congress and the  
            President of the United States to rename any federal  
            buildings, parks, roadways, or other federally owned property  
            that bear the names of elected or military leaders of the  
            Confederate States of America, and to transmit copies of this  
            resolution, as specified. 


          EXISTING LAW:  None applicable. 








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          FISCAL EFFECT:  None. 


          COMMENTS:  The Southern writer William Faulkner observed that  
          "the past is not dead.  It is not even past."  Nowhere is this  
          point better illustrated than in this resolution and the  
          contemporary national debate that it represents.  Controversy  
          over the public use and display of Confederate names and symbols  
          has a long history, but the issue acquired new urgency after the  
          shooting deaths of nine African Americans while they worshipped  
          in a South Carolina church.  The victims had invited a young man  
          to join their service, and he responded by killing them.   
          Investigations into the shooter's background revealed that he  
          was a white supremacist who had, among other things, posted  
          online a picture of himself draped in a Confederate flag.  One  
          of the many reactions to the tragic shooting was a call to  
          remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse,  
          which was eventually done.  In the weeks and months that  
          followed, other Southern localities and institutions removed  
          Confederate symbols and names from public places.  Those who  
          support these efforts argue that the Confederacy stood for the  
          defense of slavery and in subsequent years its symbols -  
          especially the Confederate Battle Flag - became symbols of  
          segregation and white supremacy.  According to the author, the  
          use of Confederate names, like the Confederate flag, is  
          demeaning and offensive to "those living under the legacy of  
          slavery" and an obstacle to our continuing struggle to achieve  
          racial equality and tolerance. 


          This resolution, therefore, urges Congress and the President of  
          the United States to "rename any federal buildings, parks,  
          roadways, or other federal owned property that bear the names of  
          elected or military leaders of the Confederate States of  
          America."  Should Congress or the President take such action, it  
          is not entirely clear how many place names would be affected.  
          Perhaps the most obvious examples are at least ten military  








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          bases in Southern states named for various Confederate generals.  
           Changing the names of these bases seems more than reasonable,  
          especially given that the contemporary United States military is  
          the successor of the Union Army, not the defeated and defunct  
          Confederate Army.  Surely there are many other worthy persons  
          for whom these bases could be named.  However, changing the name  
          of other federal properties may be more complicated.  For  
          example, General Robert E. Lee's home - a mansion occupied by  
          Union forces during the Civil War and dedicated in 1954 as the  
          Robert E. Lee Memorial - sits on the grounds of Arlington  
          National Park in Virginia.  Even if the Memorial were renamed,  
          this resolution urges Congress to rename any federal "building"  
          or other property that "bear the names" of Confederate leaders.   
          Given that the mansion was Lee's home, it is difficult to  
          imagine that the building would not bear Lee's name, even if the  
          memorial as a whole were renamed.  Nonetheless, this resolution  
          merely "urges" Congress and the President to rename federal  
          properties; it will presumably be up to Congress and the  
          President to develop the details and limits of the renaming  
          project. 


          Prior Related Legislation:  SB 539 (Glazer) of the current  
          legislative session, would have prohibited, as of January 1,  
          2017, naming any school, park, building or other public property  
          in California after certain persons associated with the  
          Confederate States of America, and would have required the  
          removal of existing Confederate names by January 1, 2017.  SB  
          539 was vetoed by the Governor on the grounds that removal of  
          names from local schools and properties should be handled by  
          local governments and communities. 


          AJR 26 (Weber), Resolution Chapter 196, Statutes of 2015,  
          encourages Congress to ban government use or display of the  
          confederate flag on federal property and encourages the several  
          states to similarly ban Confederate symbolism in state flags,  
          seals, and symbols.  









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          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Thomas Clark / JUD. / (916) 319-2334  FN:  
          0003416