Herring To Defend Monument Removal

June 10, 2020 - 4:21 pm

(Matt Demlein, WRVA)​


Richmond, VA _  Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring has filed a notice in the Lee monument lawsuit in Richmond Circuit Court that he “intends to defend the Governor’s decision and ensure the removal of this divisive relic.”  In the notice Herring states, “the Governor has both the authority and the moral obligation to remove this badge of white supremacy from its place of exaltation.”

Herring, in talking about the monument, says that “the statue is a daily reminder of one of the darkest periods in our Commonwealth’s and Nation’s history. The statue does not seek to explain or seek reconciliation for that time: it seeks to glorify it. It is a piece of state property freighted with exclusionary meaning to broad swaths of Virginians.”

Additionally, Herring argues that the Plaintiff did not notify the Attorney General or Governor of the suit, hearing, or injunction “despite filing suit in a circuit court less than two blocks away from the Office of the Attorney General,” nor was any notice received from the Court.

Herring  has long called for the removal of Confederate monuments and repeal of the law that protected these monuments, and his team worked on the legislation to repeal it during the 2020 General Assembly session. He worked to allow Norfolk to remove a Confederate monument, helped remove a Confederate flag from city property in Danville, wrote an opinion that facilitated the renaming of Jefferson Davis Highway in parts of Northern Virginia, and won a court case to remove the Confederate battle flag from Virginia license plates.

A Richmond judge Monday issued a temporary injunction barring the state from removing the statue for 10 days.  The injunction order says the state is a party to a deed recorded in March 1890 in which it accepted the statue, pedestal and ground they sit on and agreed to “faithfully guard" and “affectionately protect” them.