Updated Jan 2, 2020

Virginia Democrats seek to remove Lee statue from U.S. Capitol

Statue of Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Virginia Democrats are seeking to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol and possibly replace it with a tribute to an African-American leader, The Hill reports.

The big picture: U.S. Reps. A. Donald McEachin and Jennifer Wexton urged Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in December to remove the Confederate statue. Northam filed a formal request for a bill on Thursday, falling in line with his racial reconciliation goals for the state, according to the Post. The measure would need approval from the General Assembly, of which Democrats will take control later in January.

  • Wexton argued in an interview: "Having Robert E. Lee represent us in the Capitol is not an accurate depiction of the commonwealth of Virginia today," per the Post.
  • According to a statement from a Northam spokesperson in December: "This is something the governor has long wanted to do — he is looking forward to working with the congressional delegation and members of the General Assembly to get it done this year."

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Ralph Northam temporarily bans weapons from Virginia Capitol amid threats

Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) announced a temporary weapons ban for the Virginia Capitol and declared a state of emergency in anticipation of a gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday that is eliciting "serious threats," Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Northam says he implemented the ban to avoid a repeat of Charlottesville, referring to the violence that followed a 2017 "Unite the Right" rally. That deadly event became a defining moment as white nationalism surged.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020

Trump tweets in support of pro-gun activists ahead of Virginia rally

President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Richmond braces for thousands of demonstrators on Monday, President Trump tweeted in support of pro-gun activists, saying the Second Amendment is "under very serious attack" in the state.

The state of play: Protesters are expected to pour onto state Capitol grounds in response to Virginia Democrats' sweeping gun control proposals. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned weapons around the Capitol. The Virginia state Supreme Court upheld Northam's ban Friday, Reuters reports.

Go deeperArrowJan 18, 2020

Virginia AG asks state Supreme Court not to overturn gun ban

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Photo: H. Darr Beiser for The Washington Post via Getty Image

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring insisted on Friday that the state Supreme Court not overturn a temporary weapons ban the governor enacted for a planned gun-rights rally at the state Capitol next Monday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The FBI assisted the police on Thursday in arresting six men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base, at least three of whom were thought to be planning to attend the rally in Richmond, AP writes.

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020