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Update: Charlottesville Court Hears Arguments Over Removal of Confederate Monuments

Posted: Updated: Sep 01, 2017 08:44 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

All eyes are on a Charlottesville court Friday, September 1.

A circuit court judge will hear arguments over the battle to remove two Confederate statues from downtown, which have recently become rallying points for white supremacists.

The court hearing could bring some resolution to the Confederate statue issue in the city.

A rally in support of removing the statues unfolded in front of the court on Friday late morning, along with an increased police presence.

Lawyers on both sides will be in court Friday afternoon for a hearing.

An attorney for those in favor of keeping the statues says there will be an injunction hearing to add the General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson statue in Justice Park to the case.

The attorney will also challenge the black tarps being used to shroud the statues from public view.

Additionally, the judge will hear a motion from City Hall attorneys to dismiss the entire case and let them remove the statues.

That hearing started on Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. and lasted beyond the time that was originally allotted. 

The Charlottesville Circuit Court judge on this case has elected to delay his decision on this case. They have to decide if a 1997 state law retroactively applies to the Lee statue. 

At this point, the names of Justice and Emancipation Parks can remain, but are subject to a legal change. 

"This is strictly a legal issue from our perspective. This is all about the rule of law and the judge said this case rises and falls on whether the statute applies," said Buddy Webber, Attorney for Plaintiffs. 

"He ruled on parts and in those parts he ruled in the city's favor and then he said he was delaying his ruling because he needs to do some more reading," said Kristen Szakos, Charlottesville City Council. 

The judge did not get to take up adding the “Stonewall” Jackson statue to the Lee case.

A challenge on tarps shrouding both statues will also be heard at a later time.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The Latest on the aftermath of a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (all times local):

6:05 p.m.

A judge in Virginia says he will decide later whether a lawsuit over Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. can proceed to trial.

After a hearing Friday, Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Richard E. Moore said he may have a decision within two to three weeks.

Controversy over the statue sparked an Aug. 12 "Unite the Right" rally that descended into violent chaos. Charlottesville has since shrouded the monument with a black tarp as a symbol of mourning for a woman who was killed in the violence.

A group of plaintiffs that includes area residents and the Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued after Charlottesville's City Council voted earlier this year to remove the statue. They say that decision violates a state law on memorials for war veterans.

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