Judge Issues Ruling Delaying Destruction of Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetary

[Photo Credit: By Tim1965 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16587721]

The removal of a memorial honoring Confederate soldiers from Arlington National Cemetery was prohibited, at least temporarily, by a provisional restraining order issued by a federal judge on Monday.

The restraining order was sought in a lawsuit filed on Sunday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, by Defend Arlington, an organization affiliated with Save Southern Heritage Florida. Regarding Wednesday, a hearing has been scheduled.

Although the restraining order was issued on Monday, preparatory work to remove the memorial had already commenced; however, it is still present on the grounds of the cemetery.

Arlington is abideing by the restraining order, according to a cemetery spokesperson on Monday. For further inquiries, the Justice Department was reportedly consulted.

This week, the cemetery had anticipated finishing the removal, it had stated on Friday. It declared compliance with environmental and historic preservation regulations and stated that the removal was mandated by Congress.

However, in its endeavor to expedite the removal of the memorial, the Army, which operates the cemetery, was accused in the lawsuit of violating regulations.

Plaintiffs’ attorney testified before the court that the memorial construction would cause disruption to gravesites, according to the temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston on Monday.

A lawsuit initiated by the same plaintiffs to halt the removal of the memorial was dismissed by a federal magistrate in the District of Columbia last week.

On Monday, Alston issued an order instructing the parties involved to be ready to deliberate on the potential impact of that case on his determination of whether to extend the temporary restraining order beyond Wednesday.

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