Madison County Commission drafts application to remove Confederate monument

The Madison County Commission says they are currently drafting an application to send to the state, asking for an exception to the Memorial Preservation Act.

Posted: Jun 12, 2020 6:35 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2020 8:35 AM

The Attorney General told WAAY 31, there is no waiver available for monuments in place longer than 40 years. Earlier this week, county commissioners unanimously voted to move the controversial monument in front of the Madison County Courthouse.

The Madison County Commission says they are currently drafting an application to send to the state, asking for an exception to the Memorial Preservation Act.

"We have both city and county government working on concert with one another to make sure we have a successful outcome," said Madison County Commissioner JesHenry Malone.

On Friday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s Office emailed WAAY 31 this statement: “The attorney general’s office is not commenting on the Madison County Commission’s action/resolution this week. The Memorial Preservation Act and the administrative rules of the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection clearly state that waivers cannot be granted.”

It’s why Emily Elam and the Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance already raised more than $30,000. Alabama can sue any city or county that moves a monument or statue in place for more than 40 years.

"I don't think that it should be here at our center for justice. We feel like downtown Huntsville and the courthouse should be a place where all feel welcome," said Elam.

Malone says the county still plans on sending its request to the state and believes the monument can legally be moved.

"Each case that the state committee reviews have their own individual circumstances, and we want the opportunity to present to that committee what our individual circumstances are," said Malone.

Elam knows it could be a long road.

"I think it's a really small first step. I think there are a ton of hills to climb on this road to social justice and equality," said Elam.

The Attorney General would not give a specific answer about what would happen if Madison County does move this monument. He already filed a lawsuit against Birmingham for tearing down its confederate monument and is questioning Mobile on why that city moved their monument.

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