The University of Texas, utterly beholden to the winds of liberal change in the air after Charlottesville, made the rash decision last week to remove four Confederate statues from the campus grounds. But now, in addition to facing pushback from conservatives who believe that erasing the nation’s history is not quite the answer to modern society’s problems, the university is facing a lawsuit from a group that says it had no right to remove the statues.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans filed suit against the University of Texas this week, insisting that their rights were violated when UT President Greg Fenves ordered the statues be taken down. They have joined forces with a descendant of George Littlefield, the Confederate veteran who actually paid to have the statues erected before passing away in 1920. According to the lawsuit, the university is violating its agreement with Littlefield by removing the statues.
From the Dallas Morning News:
The group argues that the university is breaking the agreement it made with Littlefield, who created a bequest to pay for the commission and erection of those statues and several others on campus. The value of the monuments totaled $250,000 when they were erected nearly 100 years ago, the lawsuit claims, and they could be worth $500,000 each (or up to $3 million as a group) now.
“The statues were part of a bequest Maj. Littlefield made to the university that included funds for the promotion of American history from the Southern perspective,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit isn’t strictly limited to the legal interests of the Littlefield family, however. The SCV group also contends that Fenves infringed on their right to free speech by removing the statues without giving them a forum for discussion. Furthermore, they contend that Fenves broke a Texas state law that entrusts only the legislature and historical experts with the power to alter monuments to Texas vets.
While the SCV must be appreciated for doing everything in their power to preserve this nation’s southern heritage, the unfortunate fact is that they do not have a winning track record when it comes to these kinds of legal battles. Again and again, the courts have ruled that universities and municipalities have the right to erase these important reminders of history. And sadly, there are far too few people in politics willing to stand up for what the left has successfully phrased as monuments to racism.
Perhaps, with a president in the White House who actually IS willing to go there, things will start to turn around. But until we see some proof of that, we’re not holding our breath.