The Hill reported that the city of Norfolk Virginia, filed a federal lawsuit last week against the state of Virginia over a law that prevents the removal of a Confederate monument from its downtown business district.
Based on a state law passed in 1904, public war memorials in the state can’t be removed or modified, thus preventing local officials from carrying out a 2017 resolution directed towards moving the memorial owned by the city to a cemetery. This memorial was built in 1907 and commemorates soldiers who fought for the Confederacy.
This suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Norfolk.
Although the city council approved the resolution, no action would be taken until the state preservation law was no longer in effect. Violating this law could bring about financial penalties.
According to what Norfolk’s legislative body wrote in the lawsuit, Virginia’s law “purports to protect memorials related to wars and battles such as the Monument but does so in a way that takes away fundamental rights that belong to the City and its City Council.” It added, “The purpose of this suit is to unbuckle the straitjacket that the Commonwealth has placed the City and the City Council in.”
This suit argues that Virginia’s law unconstitutionally curtails Norfolk’s free speech rights by forcing the city and its council to “indefinitely present a particular message” by displaying the monument, which is the “City’s speech.”
The lawsuit stated that changing this speech is “a right that the Commonwealth cannot take away.”
In March 2017, the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which saw a number lawsuits filed by defenders of American history who turned to Virginia’s preservation law for their defense. After the Charlottesville rally turned deadly, left-wing iconoclasts across the nation took advantage of this event to destroy historical artifacts of the U.S. Civil War.
This same incident prompted the Norfolk City Council to greenlight the resolution to move its Confederate statue away from its downtown business district.
The controversy is part of a nationwide campaign the politically correct left has launched against confederate monuments nationwide.
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