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Statues Trial May Be Limited to Damages, Legal Fees

A group of statue and Civil War buffs sued to preserve the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
A group of statue and Civil War buffs sued to preserve the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  (Photo: Hawes Spencer)

The long-awaited trial over's Charlottesville's controversial Civil War statues-- the debate that launched the notorious Unite the Right rally that cost one activist and two State Police troopers their lives-- begins Wednesday morning not with a bang but a whimper. That's because all the major issues have already been decided.

Legal analyst Scott Goodman doesn't expect any big surprises from this week's three-day trial.

"The plaintiffs won the big argument, the big case. The judge ruled that the state law includes these statues."

Republicans in the General Assembly have blocked efforts to give localities the right to move war memorials.

"Only a change in the legislature will possibly be able to cause the law to be rewritten and allow localities to take down statues that are in their cities."

The trial is expected to include testimony of alleged damages to the plaintiffs-- and their request to be reimbursed by the City over half a million dollars in legal fees.