MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court has stayed a judge's order that overturned a state law protecting Confederate monuments.
Justices on Friday granted the request of Attorney General Steve Marshall. Marshall said the law will remain in effect while the state appeals.
A judge last month ruled a 2017 state law barring the removal or alteration of longstanding historical monuments violates the free speech rights of local communities.
The Alabama attorney general's office is appealing the decision.
Alabama sued the city of Birmingham in 2017 after officials erected a wooden box that obscured the view of a 52-foot-tall obelisk honoring Confederate veterans.
Below is Attorney General Steve Marshall's statement:
“I am pleased that the Alabama Supreme Court has granted the State’s motion to stay the Circuit Court’s ruling,” said Attorney General Marshall. “We think that U.S. Supreme Court precedent clearly demonstrates that the Circuit Court erred in striking down the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act. Thus, we asked the Alabama Supreme Court to preserve the status quo regarding the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Linn Park until the Court rules on our appeal.
“The Supreme Court’s stay allows the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act to remain in effect until the Supreme Court resolves this appeal over the Act’s constitutionality. We continue to hold that the Circuit Court erred when it ruled that the U.S. Constitution grants cities free speech rights that they can enforce against the State. For more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has held just the opposite, recognizing that ‘a political subdivision, created by the state for the better ordering of government, has no privileges or immunities under the federal constitution which it may invoke in opposition to the will of its creator.’ We look forward to presenting these arguments to the Alabama Supreme Court.”
See a copy of the Alabama Supreme Court’s stay HERE.