Judge: Confederate statues will stay in Charlottesville

The Daily Progress

Charlottesville, Va. – A Virginia judge has blocked the city of Charlottesville’s effort to remove Confederate statues.

The Daily Progress reports the three-day civil trial that ended Friday included a judge’s ruling preventing the removal of statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

The planned removal of the Lee statue prompted a white nationalist rally in 2017 in which counter protester Heather Heyer was killed.

File- This July 19, 2019, file photo shows Norfolk's Confederate monument in the middle of downtown on East Main Street in Norfolk, Va.  Virginia's second largest city is suing the state in an attempt to remove an 80-foot-tall Confederate monument from its downtown. The city of Norfolk's suit was filed Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, in federal court and targets a Virginia law that prevents the removal of war memorials.

Residents had sued Charlottesville, citing a state law that protects war memorials. The city said that law violated the U.S. Constitution because the statues send a racist message.

Circuit Court Judge Richard Moore ruled Wednesday that the law’s intent was historic preservation not discrimination. He issued a permanent injunction preventing the removal.

Moore said Friday he’ll award the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees but will weigh arguments before determining the amount.