Va.’s high court asked to overrule Richmond Confederate statues case

More than a dozen Confederate statues have been taken down along Richmond, Virginia’s Monument Avenue, but a lawsuit claims removing them was illegal.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the statues removed on July 1, 2020 as part of a public emergency during racial unrest in Virginia’s capital city last summer.

Richmond’s city council approved the removals on Aug. 3, after the statues had been taken down.

Lawyers who filed the lawsuit with the Virginia Supreme Court on Wednesday are asking it to reverse a lower court judge who rejected a request to return the removed monuments, according to the Richmond-Times Dispatch.

The lawyers argue it’s problematic that the statues were removed, before the city council voted to approve the Stoney’s order.

The lawsuit was filed by the same lawyers fighting Gov. Ralph Northam’s plan to remove the Robert E. Lee statue, which stands on state property in the same area on Monument Avenue.

Northam announced his decision to remove the statue after George Floyd’s death last year, but his plans have been tied up in court since then.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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