Virginia Supreme Court rules Charlottesville can remove two Confederate statues
The Virginia Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Charlottesville can remove two statues of Confederate generals, overturning a previous decision by a circuit court, AP reports.
Why it matters: Civil rights advocates say the Confederate monuments pay deference to America's legacy of slavery and racism, and the removal of such statues became a flashpoint of racial justice protests in 2020.
- The statues are of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
The big picture: The Robert E. Lee statue was the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017, where demonstrators came to Charlottesville to protest the city's plans to remove the statue, Axios previously reported.
- A group of residents sued to block the statues' removal and the circuit court had ruled in their favor, per AP.
Details: In the ruling, Justice Bernard Goodwyn said that the statues can be removed because they were built before the passage of a law that regulates the “disturbance of or interference with" war memorials and monuments.
- “In other words, [the law] did not provide the authority for the City to erect the Statues, and it does not prohibit the City from disturbing or interfering with them,” Goodwyn wrote.