Federal Judge Temporarily Halts the Removal of Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery
A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to halt the removal of a Confederate memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. The U.S. Army had already begun disassembling the monument but stopped operations after the order was issued.
The restraining order, which will expire on Wednesday night, was issued by Judge Rossie Alston, a Trump appointee. It prohibits any acts to deconstruct, tear down, remove, or alter the memorial. The judge also noted that if the representations made in the case are found to be untrue or exaggerated, appropriate sanctions may be imposed.
The order was requested by a group called Defend Arlington, affiliated with Save Southern Heritage Florida. Their lawsuit argues that removing the memorial will desecrate and damage it, hindering its eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Arlington National Cemetery has announced that it will not remove the base of the monument in order to prevent any potential damage. However, last week, a federal judge in the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block the removal of the memorial, filed by the same group.
The statue, unveiled in 1914, depicts a bronze woman representing the American South and includes other figures such as a Black woman and an enslaved man. Last year, an independent commission recommended the removal of the memorial as part of a report on renaming military bases and assets commemorating the Confederacy.
Notably, over 40 House Republicans have recently written to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, opposing the commission’s recommendation. The controversy surrounding the removal of Confederate memorials continues to spark passionate debates across the nation.
The hearing scheduled for Wednesday will determine if the temporary restraining order will remain in place, allowing for further deliberation and potential resolution on the fate of the Confederate memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
(This article contains information from The Associated Press.)
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