RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — The Supreme Court of North Carolina ruled against the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division on Friday, once again dismissing the group’s challenge against the City of Winston-Salem for taking down the Confederate monument that stood at the old Forsyth County Courthouse
The attorneys for the United Daughters of the Confederacy have argued that the group should have had a say before the city removed the statue in March 2019. They made no argument to claim ownership of the statue, which was erected in 1905.
The city had moved the statue to a secure location after it was twice vandalized, first following the deadly riot by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and then again about a year later.
Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Eric Morgan in May 2019 dismissed a suit filed by the UDC with prejudice, meaning that the UDC could not file the complaint again in the same court. The UDC had sought to keep the monument in place and said the city did what it needed to do when it acted on a request from a property owner to remove the statue.
In 2020, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, and, in August, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Forsyth County was right in dismissing the case but not in doing so with prejudice. The case was returned to North Carolina to be dismissed without prejudice, which the state Supreme Court did on Friday.
North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice Sam Ervin IV wrote in the court’s decision that the UFD failed to identify any of its members or indicate that any members live in Winston-Salem or Forsyth County.
“Without more information regarding the membership of the organization and where its members reside, plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that its organization or its members have any interest in the monument that is the subject of this case,” Ervin said.
He adds that the UFD does not claim to own or have a legal interest in the monument.
These factors combined, Ervin writes, leave the group’s complaint “insufficient to establish standing.”