Groups Sue To Stop New Orleans From Removing Confederate Statues

Hours after the New Orleans City Council and its mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an ordinance last week to remove four Confederate monuments, a coalition of preservation groups as well the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued to block their removal. The federal lawsuit, filed Thursday in New Orleans, said the monuments’ removal violated local law, federal law, the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution, according to the ABA Journal.

“Plaintiffs have a First Amendment right to free expression, free speech and free
association, which they exercise by maintaining and preserving the historic character and nature of the City of New Orleans, including their monuments, and by using the monuments as the location for events commemorating individuals and events critical to the outcome of the Civil War,” the challengers — Monumental Task Committee, Louisiana Landmarks Society, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and the Beauregard Camp No. 130, a local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans — wrote in the suit.

The mayor’s office confirmed the city would hold-off on removing the monuments as the case proceeds, NOLA.com reported, and an initial hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 14.

By a 6-1 vote, the New Orleans City Council approved a measure that would remove statues of Gens. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, CSA President Jefferson Davis, as well as the city’s Battle of Liberty Place obelisk, which memorializes a failed revolt by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction state government, according to 4WWL News. Landrieu had been pushing for the monuments’ removal since the shooting at an African-American church in South Carolina that killed nine church-goers, which prompted states and institutions across the country to reconsider their Confederate monuments.

In addition to Landrieu, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony R. Foxx and other federal officials were named as defendants in the suit.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: