Meanwhile, a HUGE win in Alabama, where the Alabama Supreme court REVERSED a lower court ruling on the Confederate monument in Linn Park in Birmingham, and UPHELD Alabama's historic monument protection law!
The Alabama Supreme Court today ruled that the city of Birmingham violated Alabama’s monument protection law when it placed a plywood screen around a Confederate monument in Linn Park in August 2017.
In a 9-0 decision, the justices reversed a lower court ruling in favor of the city. The Supreme Court sent the case back to circuit court with instructions to enter an order that the city broke the law and must pay a $25,000 fine.
The Legislature passed the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act in 2017 in response to removals and calls for removal of Confederate monuments on public property.
The law prohibits local governments from moving, altering, renaming, or otherwise disturbing monuments that have been in place 40 years or more.
The stone base of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument has been in Linn Park since 1894. The marble shaft was added in 1905, when the Pelham Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated the monument.
Former Birmingham Mayor William Bell ordered the covering of the monument. Bell took that step after a city councilman asked that the monument be removed.
Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare the covering of the monument violated the Memorial Preservation Act.
In January, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo ruled that the law violated the city’s rights to free speech and due process.
“Just as the state could not force any particular citizen to post a pro-Confederacy sign in his or her front lawn, so too can the state not commandeer the city’s property for the state’s preferred message,” Graffeo wrote.
In a 44-page opinion today, Justice Tommy Bryan cited legal precedents and concluded that the circuit court erred in ruling that the city had constitutional rights to free speech and due process.The ruling also addressed the amount of the fine. The law calls for a $25,000 for each violation of the act. Bryan concluded that the city was subject to a single $25,000 fine, rather than a fine for each day the monument was covered.
While we realize the fight is only beginning, let's take a moment to pause and thank God for these victories. Every win helps our momentum, encourages our supporters, and reminds those who would have every trace of our history and heritage removed that there are still plenty of us with PLENTY of fight left.
God bless all those who continue to fight the good fight, and God save the South!