Ruling OKs removal of another Confederate icon in Louisiana

Published 9:49 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — More than a year after four monuments to the Confederate era were removed from the New Orleans landscape, a federal judge has cleared the way for removal of another Louisiana Confederate memorial.

Wednesday’s ruling in the northwest Louisiana city of Shreveport says the Caddo Parish Commission has the authority to remove a monument outside the parish courthouse.

U.S. District Judge Robert James dismissed a lawsuit by a chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. James ruled that the group failed to prove it had any “private property interest” in the patch of land where the monument sits. He also rejected arguments that the commission had violated the group’s rights to free speech and equal protection under law.

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The commission voted 7-5 for removal of the monument last October. Its resolution said “citizens would be better served if the monument was placed in a museum or at another site dedicated to memorials, instead of the Courthouse where justice is to be administered fairly and impartially.”
It was unclear when the commission will begin removal, or if the Daughters of the Confederacy will appeal.

The chapter’s lawsuit says the minutes of a 1903 meeting by the Caddo Parish Police Jury state that the 400-square-foot parcel of land was “reserved” for installing the monument.

The monument features a statue of a young soldier on a pedestal, surrounded by busts of four Confederate generals on lower pedestals. A life-sized figure of Clio, the muse of history, points to a 3-foot-high (1-meter-high) book of remembrance which bears the words “Love’s tribute to our gallant dead.”