Judge Overturns Alabama Law Preventing Removal of Confederate MonumentsBreaking News
tags: Confederacy, monuments
A judge has overturned an Alabama law meant to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments from public property, ruling the act infringed on the rights of citizens in a mostly black city who are “repulsed” by a memorial in a city park.
The 10-page ruling issued late Monday by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo said a 2017 state law barring the removal or alteration of historical monuments wrongly violated the free speech rights of local communities.
The law can’t be enforced, Graffeo ruled, but the state attorney general’s office said it would appeal.
The state sued the city of Birmingham after officials tried to remove a 52-foot-tall (16-meter)-tall obelisk that was erected to honor Confederate veterans in a downtown park in 1905. Rather than toppling the stone marker, the city built a 12-foot (3.6-meter)-tall wooden box around it.
Birmingham’s population of 210,000 is more than 70 percent black, and the judge said it was indisputable that most citizens are “repulsed” by the memorial. He rejected the state’s claims that lawmakers had the power to protect historical monuments statewide.
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