Restricted Largest Confederate Monument In The South Is Coming Down

Viper21

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I understood you as believing the government actions are wrong. If that’s not your opinion, then my apologies.
If you gave someone a piece of property with specific conditions, & obligations...... a point comes where they no longer want to honor those conditions, & obligations, what would you do..? Would you want the property back..? Or be totally cool with them keeping it for nothing...?
 

DanSBHawk

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If you gave someone a piece of property with specific conditions, & obligations...... a point comes where they no longer want to honor those conditions, & obligations, what would you do..? Would you want the property back..? Or be totally cool with them keeping it for nothing...?
I'd be foolish to think I could force the government to express my views forever after I'm gone. From the court:

"Those restrictive covenants are unenforceable as contrary to public policy and for being unreasonable because their effect is to compel government speech, by forcing the Commonwealth to express, in perpetuity, a message with which it now disagrees."

And if it was "given" to the government, the land belongs to them now.
 

Viper21

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I'd be foolish to think I could force the government to express my views forever after I'm gone. From the court:

"Those restrictive covenants are unenforceable as contrary to public policy and for being unreasonable because their effect is to compel government speech, by forcing the Commonwealth to express, in perpetuity, a message with which it now disagrees."

And if it was "given" to the government, the land belongs to them now.
I find it shocking that so many folks don't have a problem with the renege. Forget we're talking about a monument to Lee... you'd feel the same way..?
 

DanSBHawk

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I find it shocking that so many folks don't have a problem with the renege. Forget we're talking about a monument to Lee... you'd feel the same way..?
I think the land should stay owned by the government. The statue, on the other hand, should be transferred to private ownership.

I'd feel the same way if it was another monument. Columbus, or Lincoln, for example.
 
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I find it shocking that so many folks don't have a problem with the renege. Forget we're talking about a monument to Lee... you'd feel the same way..?
Agree, remove politics from the equation and the ruling is essentially any contract is nonbinding as hey you might change your mind later............And if you do, you surely shouldn't have to honor the prior commitment you made.
 

Andersonh1

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I find it shocking that so many folks don't have a problem with the renege. Forget we're talking about a monument to Lee... you'd feel the same way..?

It's a classic case of "the ends justify the means". They're happy to have the Lee monument gone, so any means necessary to obtain that goal are justified. I suspect if it was their property being taken this way, we'd see a different reaction.
 

DanSBHawk

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It's a classic case of "the ends justify the means". They're happy to have the Lee monument gone, so any means necessary to obtain that goal are justified. I suspect if it was their property being taken this way, we'd see a different reaction.
The person who owned the property has been dead for maybe a century.

Actually, it's a classic case of letting the current, living, citizens make their own decisions about public monuments, rather than be forced to accept the views of long-dead citizens.
 

Jantzen64

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I find it shocking that so many folks don't have a problem with the renege. Forget we're talking about a monument to Lee... you'd feel the same way..?
The VaSCT is not saying that anyone, government included, can just renege on a contract on a whim. The linchpin of their analysis is the long recognized legal principle that restrictive covenants in land (also treated as easements) are not favored under the law. They didn't make that principle up just for this case. It's existed for a long time. As a result, the law places high burdens on anyone (such as the Taylor and Gregory plaintiffs) trying to enforce such covenants.

First, the covenant/easement must use some particular "magic language"; the 1887 and 1890 deeds didn't use such language (that's why the Taylor decision notes that the Governor was arguing that the "hold sacred" language was what he referred to as "prefacatory", and, why the Gregory decision goes on at length about easements in gross.)

Second, even where a restriction is otherwise valid, the law will not enforce it if it violates public policy or if circumstances have materially changed. Again, VaSCT did not make this up for this case; it has been a legal principle for a long time.

Third, the VaSCT noted that restrictions on speech are particularly questionable, and particulalry subject to the public policy/changing circumstances standard. Restrictions on speech are not the same, for example, as having a restriction on using the land for single family homes or allowing an adjacent piece of property to cross over it to access a road.

So, while I get the anger over the decision, the VaSCT was working in a well-established legal framework for its decision. And, I have searched the pleadings and have seen no indication that either the Gregory or Taylor plaintiffs requested a return of the property or the statue in their formal requests for relief. An appellate court has no authority to grant relief that isn't requested. It may well be that, if the re-hearing is denied, the plaintiffs will file a new action seeking a return of the property on the grounds the transaction was void. Hmmmmm . . . . I'm beginning to agree with @Quaama on one point he made earlier - maybe the plaintiffs were outlawyered . . . .
 

Viper21

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So, while I get the anger over the decision, the VaSCT was working in a well-established legal framework for its decision. And, I have searched the pleadings and have seen no indication that either the Gregory or Taylor plaintiffs requested a return of the property or the statue in their formal requests for relief. An appellate court has no authority to grant relief that isn't requested. It may well be that, if the re-hearing is denied, the plaintiffs will file a new action seeking a return of the property on the grounds the transaction was void. Hmmmmm . . . . I'm beginning to agree with @Quaama on one point he made earlier - maybe the plaintiffs were outlawyered . . . .
Maybe. Easy to do when you don't care what the cost is, & aren't personally paying for it.

The thing is, regardless of the legal mumbo jumbo, this case should give plenty of folks second thoughts about donating property to municipalities in the future. I would feel differently about this, had the state of Virginia provided the property, & paid for the monument. The fact that the Governor & General Assembly agreed to the covenants is a stickler for me.

The people in political office now, won't be forever. They are setting a bad precedent in my opinion. One that will have consequences down the road. Not sure that I'll live long enough to see it, but I sure I hope so.
 

DanSBHawk

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The thing is, regardless of the legal mumbo jumbo, this case should give plenty of folks second thoughts about donating property to municipalities in the future.
Maybe people shouldn't expect that they can dictate their personal opinions to the municipalities forever.
 

JerryD

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What in my post is opinion...?



^ those are facts, not opinions.
The statement that the s
What in my post is opinion...?



^ those are facts, not opinions.

I find it shocking that so many folks don't have a problem with the renege. Forget we're talking about a monument to Lee... you'd feel the same way..?
I dont find it shocking because I am a real estate lawyer and understand exactly what the Court did. To use a blatant example, a lot of homes developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries had restrictive covenants that said only white people could live on the land. These restrictions were found to be against public policy, and are therefore void. To rule as you want, if a black family ever moved in, the land would go back to the people who put that restrictive covenant on the record. The VASC ruled that restrictive covenants that require the Commonwealth to express a certain opinion in perpetuity are against public policy. You can disagree with this decision, but that is the basis for there decision. As to your point about compensation, it appears that that the conveyance was in fee simple absolute, which means it was not subject to being "clawed back", with a restrictive covenant that is now unenforceable. If the intent was that the property would come back to the original grantors at some time in the future, without any restrictions on time, it would violate the Rule Against Perpetuities.
 

Stone in the wall

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I dont find it shocking because I am a real estate lawyer and understand exactly what the Court did. To use a blatant example, a lot of homes developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries had restrictive covenants that said only white people could live on the land. These restrictions were found to be against public policy, and are therefore void. To rule as you want, if a black family ever moved in, the land would go back to the people who put that restrictive covenant on the record. The VASC ruled that restrictive covenants that require the Commonwealth to express a certain opinion in perpetuity are against public policy. You can disagree with this decision, but that is the basis for there decision. As to your point about compensation, it appears that that the conveyance was in fee simple absolute, which means it was not subject to being "clawed back", with a restrictive covenant that is now unenforceable. If the intent was that the property would come back to the original grantors at some time in the future, without any restrictions on time, it would violate the Rule Against Perpetuities.
So like the monument, did they just remove people so they could could move others in?
 

Rebforever

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"When I find the word Virginia in my commission I will join the Confederacy.” Rear Admiral Samual Philips Lee cousin of Robert E. Lee
(Adolph A. Hoehling (1993). Thunder at Hampton Roads. Da Capo Press. p. 6.)

The problem with your view is that both Lee’s were Americans. They swore an oath to defend America. One of them then took up arms against America and killed loyal Americans. That makes him a traitor.
If he rasigned his US commission, then he is not a traitor.
 

Stone in the wall

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No, just like the monument, they hold the restriction is unenforceable.
Richmond government deems any ruling unenforceable that they don't agree with, such as crowd (mob) control and destruction of property. How different and quickly they reacted to clean off graffiti when it was the Arthur Ashe monument that was vandalized.
 

19thGeorgia

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Yes he was. He was still an American citizen and he took up arms against America that makes him a traitor.

Edited. As far as US law is concerned the secession ordinances and laws were a nullity and had no effect and the confederates were still American Citizens.

“Considered therefore as transactions under the Constitution, the ordinance of secession, adopted by the convention and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, and all the acts of her legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance, were absolutely null. They were utterly without operation in law. The obligations of the State, as a member of the Union, and of every citizen of the State, as a citizen of the United States, remained perfect and unimpaired.” Texas v White 1869
President Eisenhower:
"General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history."
 
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DanSBHawk

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Hmmm isn't that what just happened?

Despite a prior commitment of the municipality, we just go by today's personal whims of whoever is in office?
No, just the opposite. No person should expect a municipality to express the views of dead residents forever.

I'm not sure why you use the word "whims?" Were these monuments installed at the whims of the past residents?
 
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