Huge news broken by Graham Moomaw over at the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
A circuit court judge said Wednesday that a state law protecting war memorials applies retroactively to the city’s statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but he wants more proof that the statue in question qualifies as a war memorial.
Judge Richard Moore’s decision allows a lawsuit aiming to block the statue’s removal to proceed, but the groups behind the legal challenge have 21 days to present a stronger case that the statue to a single military figure counts as a protected war memorial.
Judge Moore came to his conclusion based on a “common sense” metric. The argument now moves as to whether or not the Lee Statue itself is indeed a war memorial, a case which given the history of Lee Park and the terms of the donation made by Paul McIntyre, should be most assuredly closed.
The City of Charlottesville has 21 days to respond.
UPDATE: NBC 29 in Charlottesville chimes in with an ever so slightly different headline:
A Charlottesville Circuit court judge has ruled that a lawsuit meant to prevent the city from removing the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park can go forward.
. . .
On Wednesday, the judge ruled that the law applies to all war monuments, regardless of when they were erected.
However, he said the plaintiffs did not adequately prove that the Lee statue is a war monument. He gave them 21 days to provide evidence to support that claim.
No ruling as of yet has been made as to whether or not the tarps covering the memorials — ostensibly present in mourning for the loss of Heather Heyer on August 12th — can remain in place.