A judge has ruled that statues of Confederate generals in Charlottesville, Virginia, are protected by state law — which will likely halt any local efforts to remove the monuments, according to reports on the opinion released Tuesday afternoon.
Local CBS affiliate WCAV reports that Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard Moore defies the recent phenomenon of city councils, schools, and other governing bodies removing historical markers to address modern residents who are offended by what they perceive as endorsements of slavery and white supremacy.
The judge wrote that he would likely overturn any civil judgment that called for the removal of the statues:
In his nine page ruling, Moore cites the fact that both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are depicted in their military uniforms and on horses associated with their time in the Civil War.
“I believe that defendants have confused or conflated 1) what the statues are with 2) the intentions or motivations of some involved in erecting them, or the impact that they might have on some people and how they might make some people feel,” Moore writes. “But that does not change what they are.”
Moore finds the issue to be so clear-cut that “if the matter went to trial on this issue and a jury were to decide that they are not monuments or memorials to veterans of the civil war, I would have to set such verdict aside as unreasonable…”
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