RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond judge has sided with the state in the legal battle to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from Monument Avenue, dissolving the injunction that had blocked the Confederate monument’s removal for months. Despite the ruling, the Lee statue will not be taken off its pedestal until after an appeal process.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant suspended his order until after the resolution of an appeal.
Patrick McSweeney, the attorney for the Monument Avenue residents who filed the lawsuit, told our sister-station WRIC, that they plan to appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia but that “they need time to digest the opinion before commenting.”
Governor Ralph Northam commented about the ruling.
“The Lee monument was built to celebrate the Confederacy and uphold white supremacy. This victory moves Virginia forward in removing this relic of the past—one that was erected for all the wrong reasons.
“I am grateful to Attorney General Mark Herring and his team for their tremendous work on this case. Today we are one step closer to a more inclusive, equitable, and honest Virginia.”Governor Ralph Northam
Attorney General Mark Herring also commented after winning the case, saying, “Today’s win is so important for the Commonwealth and its future as an inclusive, open, welcoming community. The Lee statue has held a place of prominence and stood as a memorial to Virginia’s racist past in the center of our capital city for entirely too long. The Lee statue does not represent who we have become as Virginians and it sends the wrong message to the rest of the world that we continue to venerate an individual who fought to maintain the enslavement of human beings. This decision puts Virginia one step closer on the path to finally bringing this divisive symbol down and I remain as dedicated as ever to ensuring that it is removed once and for all.”
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