Appeals court rules Confederate statue may stay in place in North Carolina – Washington Examiner

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that leaders in Alamance County who refused to remove a Confederate monument outside a courthouse acted lawfully in not moving the statue.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that despite calls from the NAACP and other plaintiffs to have the monument removed, county leadership lacked the authority to do so based on the state’s Monument Protection Law.

“Under the Monument Protection Law, the County has no authority to move the Monument,” the court’s opinion read. “Regardless of some commission members’ comments or misunderstandings of their legal ability to move the Monument, the rule of law does not change.”

“At all times, the Monument Protection Law has required the County to leave the Monument in its current place. Defendants’ hands are tied — even if they wanted to move the Monument, they could not,” the ruling added.

The court rejected an argument by the NAACP and other plaintiffs that an exception in the law should have allowed the monument to be removed. The exception stipulates that if the monument “poses a threat to public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition,” as assessed by “a building inspector or similar official,” it can be removed. The plaintiffs had pointed to a county manager expressing his concern over the safety of people protesting the monument outside the courthouse in June 2020 as fitting the exception.

“Because the county manager is not a ‘similar official’ to a building inspector, we conclude the building inspector exception does not apply to the county manager in this case. Accordingly, the trial court correctly determined that no exceptions applied to allow for removal of the Monument,” the ruling said.


The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel upheld a 2022 ruling from a trial court over the statue.

Confederate monuments have been a point of controversy in several states in the past decade, with several removals occurring, especially after protests following the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.