Hearing finalizes issues for Confederate monuments trial in Charlottesville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WCAV) — Attorneys in the long-ongoing Confederate monuments lawsuit were in Charlottesville Circuit Court for a hearing on Tuesday, where the judge finalized two issues that will be taken up during the three-day trial next week.

The first issue is whether the plaintiffs will be awarded any damages from the city. The statues weren't removed or destroyed, so any damages awarded would be for covering the Confederate monuments with shrouds.

The second issue is attorney's fees. The plaintiffs are asking the court to award them $500,000.

The trial is set to begin Sept. 11.

Before the trial begins, the judge also must rule on whether the Confederate statues violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The city is arguing that the statues violate that clause because they are intimidating to African-Americans.

It's already been ruled that current and former members of of the Charlottesville City Council can not be held personally liable in the lawsuit.

The judge has also already concluded that the statues are legally classified as war monuments, which means they're protected from removal by the city under state law. But if they violate the Equal Protection Clause, that would supercede state law.

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