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Protesters gather at a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee defaced with paint from ongoing anti-racism protests in Richmond, Virginia. Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

A circuit court judge in Richmond on Thursday extended an injunction barring the state of Virginia from removing a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the city's historic Monument Avenue, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

The big picture: The statue is the "property of the people," Circuit Court Judge Bradley Cavedo said at a hearing Thursday. Cavedo initially issued a 10-day injunction on June 8, days after Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the statue be removed "as soon as possible," and will hold another hearing on July 23.

  • The lawsuit seeking to stop the statue's removal was brought by the great-grandson of two signatories of the 1890 deed that transferred ownership of the land surrounding the statue to the state of Virginia.
  • It argues that the deed required the state to consider the monument "perpetually sacred."

Why it matters: Virginia has been at the center of a longtime national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests over a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

Go deeper

Amy Coney Barrett a favorite for Trump's Supreme Court pick

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a front-runner to become President Trump's nominee to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after he declared Saturday that he will choose a woman.

Of note: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last year that Trump said of the federal judge, "I'm saving her for Ginsburg."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.