Statute retroactive? Judge mulls city’s motion to throw out statue lawsuit
C-VILLE Weekly Tuesday, September 05, 2017 at 7 p.m.
The battle over Charlottesville City Council’s vote to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee continued in a packed courtroom September 1, with the lines pretty clearly drawn between statue supporters and those who want Lee to make a final retreat.
The hearing was to argue the city’s demurrer, which alleges that even if all the facts are correct in the lawsuit filed by the Monument Fund, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other plaintiffs, the 1997 Virginia law that prohibits municipalities from removing war memorials is not retroactive, and would not apply to the Lee statue that Paul McIntire gave the city in 1924.
Plaintiffs attorney Ralph Main maintained that a common sense reading of the law was in order.
At the end of the hearing that stretched four hours, Judge Rick Moore decided to take a few more weeks before ruling, although he did sustain the city’s right to rename Lee Park to Emancipation Park.
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