Charlottesville to appeal lawsuit over Confederate statues

By  | 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR/WHSV) — Charlottesville plans to appeal its defeat in a lawsuit challenging councilors' decision to move two Confederate monuments out of city parks.

On Monday, October 7, Charlottesville City Council authorized the city attorney to appeal the lawsuit once a final ruling is issued.

The lawsuit has idled in Charlottesville Circuit Court since mid-September.

The case started in 2017 after City Council voted to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from Market Street Park. Councilors later added the removal of the statue of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson from Court Square Park.

Those decisions were the original spark for the 'Unite the Right' rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville in August 2017.

Last month, Judge Richard Moore issued a permanent injunction preventing the removal of both monuments. Earlier in the case, he ruled that the statues are war monuments under a Virginia law which protects all war memorials from removal by local governments.

The city argued against that state law, saying it violated the Constitution because the statues send a racist message, but Judge Moore ruled the law's intent was historic preservation and not discrimination.

While he barred the city from removing the statue, the lawsuit has not been settled yet.

The next hearing in the lawsuit is scheduled for October 15.