Congressman ejected from House floor for wearing hoodie

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush was ordered to leave the House floor Wednesday for wearing a hooded sweatshirt as he discussed the Trayvon Martin case.

Martin, the 17-year-old African-American who was shot dead by self-styled neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman last month, was wearing similar attire at the time of his death.

Rush denounced “those who tread on our laws, wearing official or quasi-official clothes.”

“Racial profiling has to stop,” he said, “just because someone wears a hoodie, does not make them a hoodlum.”

Rush then removed his suit jacket and put his sweatshirt’s hood over his head. The presiding officer of the House, Mississipi Republican Rep. Greg Harper, banged his gavel, in vain, saying Rush was “no longer recognized,” and asking for the sergeant at arms to intervene.

Rush ignored the order, speaking progressively louder as he quoted Bible verses.

After the congressman quieted down, Harper noted: “The chair must remind members that clause 5 of rule 17 prohibits the wearing of hats in the chamber when the House is in session. The chair finds that the donning of a hood is not consistent with this rule. Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”

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