Appeals court sides with Memphis in Civil War monument lawsuit

Jun 5, 2019

This statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest stood in a Memphis Park from 1905 until it was removed in 2017.
Credit Thomas R Machnitzki, Commons, used with permission

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Osborne) -- The City of Memphis did not violate state law in 2017 when it used a novel scheme to remove Confederate statues from city parks, according to the Nashville based state Court of Appeals.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal says the court released its ruling Tuesday.

The Tennessee Heritage Preservation Act, passed by the Republican dominated state legislature in 2016, makes it extremely difficult to remove Civil War themed memorials located on state property.

Memphis sidesteped the law by selling three city parks to a new non-profit created for that purpose. The non-profit then promptly removed the statues.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans sued, but lost the initial case. They've also now lost at the appeals level. A spokesman for the group tells the Commercial Appeal they plan to take the case on to the Tennessee Supreme Court.