Alabama tries to restart Confederate monument lawsuit

The Alabama attorney general’s office is trying to restart its trial over the removal of a Confederate monument from outside the county courthouse in the city of Huntsville.

The state claimed in court documents that a judge should not have dismissed the lawsuit simply because someone anonymously paid a $ 25,000 fine that was owed by Madison County for removing the statue there. almost a year ago, WHNT-TV reported.

Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office argues that the county should be required to pay the penalty itself. A judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday afternoon on the state’s proposal to reinstate the trial.

The state sued the county last year seeking a fine of $ 25,000 which is mandated under a state law that makes it illegal to remove or alter monuments. Lawmakers passed the law in 2017 as part of a nationwide movement to tear down memorials honoring Confederation.

Madison County has asked a judge to end the state’s lawsuit after someone deposited $ 25,000 into a court account to pay the fine on Aug. 27. The county says the money is not coming from taxpayers or Madison County, but it has not said where the funding came from.

Circuit judge Claude Hundley has dismissed the lawsuit, but the state argues it needs to know who paid the fine to end the case. He also says the judge has yet to rule on his claim that Madison County broke the law when it moved the monument.

Erected in 1905 by the United Daughters of Confederation, the monument was erected outside the Madison County Courthouse at a time when Confederate descendants attempted to portray the Southern cause during the Civil War as noble rather than linked to slavery. The statue has been moved to a municipal cemetery.

Protesters demanded the removal of the Huntsville statue and other numerous Confederate statues across the country last year amid nationwide protests against racial injustice following the police murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Efforts to take down statues honoring Southern Civil War figures continued on Wednesday as task forces hoisted a massive statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from its giant pedestal in Virginia’s capital, Richmond, cheered on by a crowd.

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Harold Shirley

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