Appeal Planned After Judge OKs Removal Of Confederate Icon
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy plans to appeal a federal judge's ruling that clears the way for removal of a north Louisiana Confederate monument.
U.S. District Judge Robert James dismissed the organization's lawsuit Wednesday, saying the Caddo Parish Commission has the authority to move the monument from the courthouse grounds in Shreveport.
An attorney for the Daughters of the Confederacy's Shreveport chapter, Dick Knadler (NAD'-ler), said Thursday they will go to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. He declined to make further comment.
Steven Jackson, on the winning side of the commission's 7-5 October vote to remove the monument, welcomed James' ruling.
"I think it's long awaited and long overdue," Jackson said in a telephone interview.
He said plans to move the statue haven't been firmed up yet, but he expects they will advance in the coming weeks.
The 30-foot-tall marble and granite monument includes a statue of a young soldier atop a pedestal, surrounded by busts of four Confederate generals on lower pedestals.
The commission's October resolution says the monument should be moved to a museum or "another site dedicated to memorials, instead of the Courthouse where justice is to be administered fairly and impartially."
James, who in January had denied a preliminary injunction blocking the monument's removal, again rejected the UDOC's contention that it has an ownership interest in the piece of courthouse land on which the monument sits. The organization cited minutes of a 1903 Caddo Parish government meeting in arguing that the land was reserved for the use of the Daughters of the Confederacy that year, and that the parish had, in effect, relinquished its right to the land.
James disagreed and dismissed the suit without a trial.
– by Kevin McGill, AP reporter