A court in Richmond is set to open Monday a trial on a lawsuit seeking to prevent the removal of a massive statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
A group of residents filed the lawsuit after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had ordered the statue to be removed in June amid nationwide protests over police brutality and racism.
The plaintiffs argue that Mr. Northam lacks the authority to remove it and that it would violate restrictive covenants in deeds regarding the monument, according to The Associated Press.
The equestrian statue is located on historic Monument Avenue, where numerous Confederate statues have either been pushed over by protestors, or removed through an emergency order by Mayor Levar Stoney.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge Judge W. Reilly Marchant is presiding over the case.