Palmetto Sunrise: Senators’ unity pin

Picture of unity pin, courtesy of Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington.

COLUMBIA —Under a dome where lawmakers often snide and roll their eyes at each other, esteemed reverend and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney laid in state a week after he and eight others were slain at a historic black Charleston church.

But politics were far from the minds of Republicans and Democrats, and senators and representatives, as they rotated standing on each side of Pinckney’s body greeting mourners who stood in line for more than two hours in the heat outdoors to pay their respects.

Pinckney was a man known for rationalizing with members of both parties, and was often referred to as the “moral compass” of the Senate. When recognizing Pinckney’s legacy, Charleston Republican Rep. Jim Merrill said Tuesday jokingly that it was frustrating to work with Pinckney at times.

“It’s a little difficult to engage in an argument with a man who will not fight with you,” Merrill said.

But that was the kind of man he was, added Hollywood Democrat Rep. Robert Brown, who futilely attempted to keep himself from crying while speaking of Pinckney. The pastor frequented Brown’s barber shop to catch up and to meet constituents in an effort to learn of their concerns.

Brown said he had asked Pinckney for one thing: to deliver Brown’s eulogy when he passed. Brown, 64, even had it written in his will. On Tuesday, he lamented he’d have to go and change it.

“Never, never I ever thought that he would leave before me,” Brown said.

To demonstrate that unity in the wake of tragedy, Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, made a blue and white pin with the state crescent. Every senator donned it on Wednesday to show “how South Carolina stands together,” Shealy said.

Related:

Pinckney’s funeral will be open to public (The Post and Courier)

Chumley ‘regrets’ self-defense comment (The Post and Courier)

Corley: ‘We didn’t all come from white, plantation homes’ (Morris News Service)

CofC board supports removing Confederate flag (The Post and Courier)

Haley says she won’t violate law by temporarily removing Confederate flag (The Post and Courier)

Nearly three dozen S.C. lawmakers avoid taking stand on removing Confederate flag (The Post and Courier)

Haley: Fate of Confederate flag license plates up to lawmakers (The State)

Ann Coulter: Haley ‘an immigrant’ who doesn’t understand Confederate flag (The Hill)

In other news:

Legislature passes budget giving counties $216 million for roads (The Associated Press)

Jindal declares 2016 GOP candidacy (The Associated Press)