Judge dismisses lawsuit seeking to block removal of Lee statue in Richmond

FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, the early morning sun highlights the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Virginia cities would have the authority to remove or alter Confederate monuments under a proposal from a top Democratic lawmaker. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(AP/Steve Helber)

One of two cases blocking the removal of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia, has been dismissed by a judge.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson has denied a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the removal of the Lee statue on Monument Avenue and dismissed the lawsuit completely.

The statue is the towering memorial of the confederate general overlooking the city’s famous Monument Avenue.

William Davis filed the case in June seeking to stop Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and any future governors from removing the statue.

The judge in his opinion stated that Davis did not establish standing in the case.

He said that the plaintiff must show that his injury will be “fairly traceable” to the de-listing of the Lee statue from the National Register.

In response to the lawsuit, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office stated that he is committed to ensuring that the statue is removed.

Work to remove the Confederate memorials in the former capital of the Confederacy began July 1, the day a state law took effect granting local authorities control over war memorials on their property. The Lee statue, however, is on state property.

One other lawsuit remains, filed by a group of Richmond residents also seeking to block the statue’s removal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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