A judge dismissed a legal challenge Monday preventing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration from removing an enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but immediately imposed another injunction in a different lawsuit.
The new 90-day injunction bars the state from “removing, altering, or dismantling, in any way” the larger-than-life statue or its massive pedestal while the claims in a lawsuit filed by a group of Richmond property owners are litigated.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant wrote that “the public interest does weigh in favor” of a temporary injunction.
Separately, Marchant dismissed entirely as not “legally viable” the claims filed by a descendant of signatories to an 1890 deed that transferred the statue to the state, and he dissolved an existing injunction in that case.
Plaintiff William C. Gregory, the great-grandson of land donors, had argued the state agreed to “faithfully guard” and “affectionately protect” the statue on historic Monument Avenue. The Associated Press sent an inquiry to his attorney seeking comment.
The governor appreciates the dismissal of the Gregory case and “looks forward to another victory in court as soon as possible,” his spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, said in a statement.
(more at apnews.com)