…Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed honoring the late Sen. John McCain by renaming the Russell Senate Office Building after him.
…It might seem like an odd proposal — after all, Richard Russell was a Democrat who represented Georgia in the Senate for 38 years and who was dubbed a “senators’ senator” for his mastery of the chamber’s arcane rules and procedures. Schumer’s proposal would replace a fellow Democrat’s name with a Republican’s.
…Russell was a staunch segregationist, and he used his same mastery of the Senate rules to block civil rights legislation, even keeping an anti-lynching statute from becoming law.
He fought integration in the nation’s military and at federal government agencies. In 1956, Russell was a co-author of the “Southern Manifesto,” which opposed desegregation of public places, and he led the Southern bloc of senators who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, calling it “shortsighted and disastrous.”