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Virginia’s Supreme Court ruled that the city of Charlottesville is allowed to remove statues of Confederate generals, including one of Robert E. Lee.

The court ruled on Thursday, overturning a ruling made in 2019 by a lower district court that statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and fellow General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson could not be removed because they are protected by state law, according to The New York Times.

The lower court argued that the statues could not be removed because of a law passed in 1904 and amended in 1997 that forbid localities from disturbing or removing them.

“In the present case, the Statues were erected long before there was a statute which both authorized a city’s erection of a war memorial or monument and regulated the disturbance of or interference with that war memorial or monument,” Justice S. Bernard Goodwin wrote in the court’s opinion. “The trial court erred by interpreting the statute as operating retroactively to prohibit removal of the Statues from the City’s parks.”

The statue of Lee was erected in 1924 and the statute of Jackson was erected in 1921.

Chip Boyles, Charlottesville’s city manager, said the move was a win for the city and that he would work with the City Council to plan the next steps to remake the parks where the statues stand.

The statues were a focal point during the 2017 “unite the right rally,” which saw the death of one protester and injuries to many others, according to CNN.

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california

Unconstitutional: CA Gov. Newsom’s order barring in-person private school classes, says 9th Circuit

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Friday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 restriction barring private schools from in-person classes is unconstitutional.

The Center for American Liberty and 20 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in July 2020 challenging Newsom’s closing of all in-person classes for schools. “Several of those plaintiffs said Newsom overstepped his authority and acted illegally by denying parents control over their children’s education,” the Epoch Times reported.

“California’s forced closure of their private schools implicates a right that has long been considered fundamental under the applicable caselaw—the right of parents to control their children’s education and to choose their children’s educational forum,” Judge Daniel Collins ruled on Friday.

However, the court upheld barring public school in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harmeet Dhillon, the head of the Center for American Liberty, said in a statement, “While we are thrilled for our clients whose rights are vindicated by today’s decision, we are disappointed the Ninth Circuit did not rule that all students, including those in public school, have a basic right to an education. We will continue to advocate for the educational rights of all students.”

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Newsom’s office said, “Throughout this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, the state was guided by science and data—prioritizing the health and safety of students, staff, and their families while supporting schools to meet the needs of students and return to in-person learning quickly. All students are returning to full, in-person instruction next year, and the state is focused on ensuring that return is successful.”

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Court & Law

Mississippi attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade

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Mississippi’s Attorney General urged the Supreme Court on Thursday to overturn Roe V. Wade when the court comes together in the next term.

“This Court should overrule Roe and Casey,” Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a brief, according to The Hill. “Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong. They have proven hopelessly unworkable. … And nothing but a full break from those cases can stem the harms they have caused.”

Finch was referencing a 1992 decision of a case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the landmark Roe V. Wade case.

The attorney general made the plea to the Supreme Court as it is set to debate an abortion restriction legislation that essentially bans all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy that Mississippi passed in 2018.

“Under the Constitution, may a state prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion,” Fitch added, arguing that the case should be overturned.

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Federal court unanimously rules the CDC’s eviction moratorium is unlawful

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The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority and engaged in federal overreach by issuing an eviction moratorium during the pandemic.

The Cincinnati-based federal court agreed with a lower court ruling, which had called the moratorium on evictions unlawful, according to The Epoch Times.

“It is not our job as judges to make legislative rules that favor one side or another,” Circuit Judge John Bush, who President Donald Trump appointed, said in the court’s opinion. “But nor should it be the job of bureaucrats embedded in the executive branch. While landlords and tenants likely disagree on much, there is one thing both deserve: for their problems to be resolved by their elected representatives.”

The CDC originally made the order in September 2020 to ban evictions for tenants that lost money due to the pandemic and was eventually upheld by Congress. The policy is set to expire on July 31.

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