Sons of Confederate Veterans appeal legal ruling of Confederate statue removal

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Sons of Confederate Veterans have filed an appeal over the removal of Confederate statues in Memphis.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the removal of the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis was done legally.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans are challenging that ruling.

"We felt that we were right and felt that we would appeal immediately of course pending discussion with all those involved," Lee Millar, with Sons of Confederate Veterans, said.

The group said an injunction against the City of Memphis and Memphis Greenspace, which purchased the parks, prohibits the removal of the statues.

"This continues the injunction against the city and Greenspace so that they can't move, sell, and damage any of those statues pending the completion of the legal process, and it requires the city and Greenspace to preserve and protect the statues," Millar said.

In December, the city--through a city council ordinance and Mayor Jim Strickland's signature--sold two parks to a nonprofit group Memphis Greenspace who removed three Confederate monuments.

Tennessee lawmakers closed the loophole that allowed the sale this year, but the judge wrote the implications of the new legislation can't be retroactively applied, saying "the court is not authorized to read provisions into the law that are not there."

Millar said they'll continue to fight the city's actions.

"The ultimate goal is to put the statues back up where they belong, where they came from," Millar said.

The next stop would be the Tennessee Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court.

City of Memphis responded saying, "We expected it and are prepared for it."

The attorney for the Sons of Confederate Veterans said he was not prepared to share the formal appeal at this time.

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