High court rejection not the end of Confederate Monument legal battle

High court rejection not the end of Confederate Monument legal battle

CADDO PARISH (KSLA) - More court battles may be on the horizon over the Confederate monument standing in front of the courthouse in downtown Shreveport.

That's the word from the United Daughters of the Confederacy — the group that owns the monument. Even despite the denial they just received Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court to look at their case.

Monument supporters still hope to keep it right where it has stood for more than a century.

The attorney who represents the U.D.C., Dave Knadler, said he sees that as a realistic possibility when you consider the law cited to implement a 90 day deadline structure, does not apply in this case.

"There's no ruling, no sheet of paper, nothing that says that Caddo Parish actually owns courthouse square."

Even in federal court, Dave Knadler said there was nothing that confirmed the parish owns the land either, which he contends makes the parish's letter invalid.

"They use an inapplicable statute. A statute that doesn't apply because they aren't owners of the property underneath. Not only that, during the federal litigation they never used that statute."

It was the parish attorney who notified Knadler and his client, the U.D.C., about that 90 day deadline in a letter sent back in late August.

The letter stated the 'Daughters' must move the monument by November 26 or the parish will take ownership of it.

"We're going to ask them, I'm going to send them an official notice, 'you're going to have to rescind that letter.' If not, I mean the only option we have is to go to court."

That would be Caddo District Court, Knadler said, possibly starting with an injunction, if efforts began for the parish to remove the monument.

However, Caddo Commissioner Lyndon Johnson said this case is settled legally.

"It's just like if you were to drive your car on courthouse grounds and they would tell you, 'you gotta move your car.' And if you don't move it, there would be a tow truck come to remove your property from the courthouse grounds. It's the same thing."

The U.D.C. has cautioned parish authorities that if they try to move the monument, it will likely crumble based on recent research by specialists brought in to look at it.

One reason for its fragile condition, according to Knadler, is the toll of the freeze-thaw cycle over the past 115 years.

It has created what's described as micro cracks inside the monument, making it susceptible to breaking apart.

Just last week, a special committee for the Caddo Parish Commission proposed earmarking half a million dollars in next year's budget in case the parish is tasked with moving the monument.

But Knadler had one last warning, this one about that cost. Estimates show that removal could cost well over a million dollars.

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