Third Day of Motions in Statue Lawsuit Ends Without Any Decisions
The third day of motions involving statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas Johnathan "Stonewall" Jackson in Charlottesville Circuit Court are done, but the legal battle has a long way to go.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The third day of motions involving statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas Johnathan "Stonewall" Jackson in Charlottesville Circuit Court are done, but the legal battle has a long way to go.
Attorneys continued to making their arguments to Judge Richard E. Moore Wednesday, January 16. During the previous days’ hearings, lawyers have fought over if the case should be heard by a jury, individual liability, and attorney fees.
Plaintiffs are suing Charlottesville, City Council, Mike Signer, Kathy Galvin, Wes Bellamy, Kristin Szakos, and Bob Fenwick over their approval to remove the statues from two public parks. The lawsuit was first filed back in March 2017, and had been set to go to trial Monday, January 14.
Some the issues brought up Wednesday were matters related to Virginia law – which says localities can not remove memorials for war veterans - if the statues fit the definition of war memorials, and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That section requires a state to treat all people in an even manner to avoid discrimination. It has been used as a legal lever in cases ranging from Brown v. Board of Education to Roe v. Wade.
Moore did not make any decisions in court Wednesday, but NBC29 was told that the judge hopes to have several rulings made in the pre-trial motions by early next week.
A three-day trial appears to be set to start on March 11, however this may change.