On Wednesday, July 25th, U.S. District Judge Robert G. James in Monroe dismissed the lawsuit filed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy against the Caddo Parish Commission in an attempt to keep the monument in place.
The conclusion of the dismissal reads:
…the Court finds Plaintiff [United Daughters of the Confederacy] has failed to carry its burden and show there is an issue of material fact warranting trial. Accordingly, Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 88] is GRANTED, and Plaintiff’s claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE at Plaintiff’s cost.
Which means the Daughters not only lost the case but must pay for the legal fees incurred by the parish.
Caddo Parish attorneys maintained in arguments presented last week that the land underneath the monument was never owned by the Daughters and, with that understanding, the Caddo Parish Commission voted to remove the Confederate monument. The Daughters now have a choice to make – let it go or continue the battle up to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and, perhaps, on to the Supreme Court.
Citizens have increasingly called for the removal of the monument with bits of progress for years. In 2011 the Commission voted to remove the Confederate flag which had been flying above the monument since 1951.
The monument, which currently still sits on courthouse grounds, features prominent Confederate generals, an unnamed Confederate soldier, and the Greek muse of history, Cleo. It has been in place since its unveiling in 1906 and has come under increased scrutiny as cities across the country remove monuments to the failed attempt to form a new nation which sparked the civil war.
For now, we wait to see what the Daughters will do next. No location has been selected to which the monument might be relocated, but if the Daughters’ luck continues, they might want to begin thinking about where that location might be.