Judge Moore distributed a carefully written 9-page letter opinion dated April 25, 2019 stating that Plaintiffs have won their motion for partial summary judgment: the Lee and Jackson statues in Charlottesville, Virginia are monuments covered under Virginia Statute §15.2-1812:
“Upon a full consideration of the matter, I find that there is no other reasonable conclusion but that these statues are monuments and memorials to Lee and Jackson, as Generals of the Confederate States of America, and that as such they are monuments or memorials to veterans of one of the wars listed in Va. Code §15.2-1812. I find this conclusion inescapable. It is the very reason the statues have been complained about from the beginning. It does no good pretending.”
“I do not believe that any reasonable, rational factfinder could find that these two statues are not monuments or memorials to two Confederate Generals from Virginia and as such to veterans of the American Civil War, or the War Between the States, one of the conflicts listed in the statute. No additional evidence is necessary or would be helpful in further considering this issue.”
“Therefore, in conclusion, I find that both statues are monuments and memorials to veterans of the War Between the States, as mentioned in Virginia Code §15.2-1812, and am granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to these two statues each being a monument or memorial to a veteran of the Civil War, or the War Between the States.”
“But this is the only motion I am ruling on at this time, in this letter. There are still several other issues remaining in the case. So this does not mean that Plaintiffs will prevail simply because I find that these statues are monuments and memorials as referred to by the statute. I have simply concluded that there is no point in putting this determination off any longer. They are what they obviously are, and I am just calling them what they in fact are. The purpose of a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is to prevent the expenditure of time, energy, and expense on a futile point, on a matter that is self-evident, and on which no additional evidence can change the outcome. This is such a situation.”
We must emphasize that this case is not yet over as there are still significant motions before the court, but we are pleased to report that this major point was decided in our favor.