Attorney General Rejects Monument Referendum

June 17, 2020 - 3:54 pm
General Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia

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Richmond, VA _  Attorneys for a man suing to prevent the state from removing the statue of Robert E. Lee from Monument Avenue have written to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring with a compromise, of sorts, but Herring calls it a "nonstarter".

The lawyers say that their client, William C. Gregory, the great-grandson of two of the signers of the 1890 agreement deeding the land and monument to the Commonwealth, say their client proposes that "the people of Virginia be allowed to determine the future of" the monument.

Gregory's lawsuit to keep the monument in place argues that under the terms of the original agreement and a legislature-approved resolution, the state is supposed to consider the monument and the area around it “perpetually sacred” and “faithfully guard it and affectionately protect it.”

His compromise proposes the matter be put to Virginia voters in the form of a referendum.  If voters approve the monument's removal, he agrees to drop the lawsuit.  The offer is set to expire Friday June 18.

Herring, released the following statement from his office: 

"This random person who came out of nowhere doesn’t get to dictate what the Commonwealth does with its own statue. The statue needs to come down and AG Herring will continue to work to make that happen."