Judge halts removal of Lee statue for 6 months

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia judge has agreed to a temporary injunction in a lawsuit over the future of two statues of Confederate generals in Charlottesville.

News outlets report Judge Richard Moore ruled Tuesday that the Robert E. Lee statue cannot be moved for six months, in the public's interest. Moore says he won't make a ruling on the Stonewall Jackson statue, but the Charlottesville City Council can still rename Lee Park and continue planning for the statue's removal.

Multiple plaintiffs, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans, argued the statues are covered under a Virginia monument law that protects them from being removed.

According to the city, the statues weren't erected to commemorate the Civil War and Virginia's war monument statute cannot be retroactively applied.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 19.