Judge extends injunction blocking removal of Lee and Jackson statues

Published: Oct. 24, 2017 at 3:26 PM EDT
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The temporary injunction blocking the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville has been extended until a final decision is made in the case.

A group of plaintiffs, including The Monument Fund, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and about a dozen private citizens,

back in March to stop the statue from coming down.

The lawsuit is centered around whether the city has the legal authority to remove the statue. A state law makes it "unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with" any war monuments, but the city argued that state law applied only to war memorials built after the law was amended in 1998 (the statute was originally codified in the 1950s, after the statues were erected in the 1920s).

In May, a judge first

that barred the city from moving the Lee statue for a period of six months as the lawsuit moved forward.

They were still allowed to rename Lee Park as Emancipation Park and plan ahead for removal of the statue, however.

Earlier this month, a Charlottesville Circuit Court judge

, saying the plaintiffs had not adequately proven that the statue is a war monument and giving them 21 days to provide more evidence of the claim.

The injunction has also been extended to include the Stonewall Jackson statue in Justice Park, formerly known as Jackson Park.

The injunction was originally scheduled to run through Nov. 2 but will now remain in place until a final order is made in the lawsuit.