A timeline of the Lee monument legal battle

Posted at 2:55 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-04 15:07:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled unanimously that the iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee can be removed from its place of honor in Richmond. Virginia promised in 1890 to forever maintain the statue. Historians testified that it was erected to honor the southern white citizenry's defense of a pre-Civil War life that depended on subjugating Black people. Now it's widely seen as a symbol of white supremacy and Black oppression. The justices said “values change and public policy changes too” in a democracy. Thursday's ruling denies claims by private citizens who tried to block Gov. Ralph Northam's removal order.

Below is a timeline of the recent legal battle to remove Lee from Monument Avenue.

May 25, 2020
George Floyd is killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

May 29 - 30, 2020
Social justice protests turned destructive in the city of Richmond.

June 1, 2020
Richmond Police use pepper spray and tear gas on a crowd of hundreds of peaceful protesters at the Lee monument.


June 4, 2020
Governor Northam orders the Lee monument taken down

June 8, 2020
William Gregory files lawsuit to stop removal; judge grants injunction

June 17, 2020
State installs concrete barriers around the monument.

Injunction extended against removing Lee statue in Virginia
Workers for The Virginia Department of General Services install concrete barriers around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue, Wednesday June 17, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The barriers are intended to protect the safety of demonstrators as well as the structure itself. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

June 18, 2020
Richmond Judge Cavedo indefinitely extends the injunction to prevent the removal of Lee monument

June 22, 2020
New regulations close Lee monument grounds from sunset to sunrise

July 16, 2020
Judge Cavedo recuses himself from Gregory case

July 20, 2020
Group of Monument Avenue residents file a lawsuit to stop removal

August 3, 2020
Richmond Judge Marchant dismisses Gregory case

August 25, 2020
Judge Marchant rules residents’ lawsuit can proceed to trial

October 19, 2020
Judge Marchant hears arguments and witness testimony

October 27, 2020
Judge Marchant sides with Commonwealth, but suspends his own order pending resolution of the appeal

October 27, 2020
Gregory appeals to Virginia Supreme Court

October 29, 2020
Residents file notice that they will appeal

January 25, 2021
An eight-foot-tall fence was installed around Lee monument to prepare for removal

Lee Monument Fence.png

January 25, 2021
Residents appeal to Virginia Supreme Court

January 27, 2021
Attorney General Herring asks Virginia Supreme Court to reject the appeal

February 12, 2021
Virginia Supreme Court announces it will hear both cases

June 8, 2021
Virginia Supreme Court hears oral arguments

September 2, 2021
Virginia Supreme Court rules state can remove the Lee monument

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers are Working For You.

Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.