Pensacola Confederate monument lawsuit revving back up. It may spread to Tallahassee court

By Jim Little | Pensacola News Journal

Florida’s Secretary of State Cord Byrd is asking a judge to transfer part of the lawsuit over the removal of Pensacola’s Confederate monument to Leon County.

Byrd’s office filed the motion Friday in Escambia County Circuit Court.

It was the latest development in the case that has been pending since the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to state courts in May of last year.

The case is moving forward as Florida lawmakers are considering passing legislation aimed a protecting Confederate and other monuments and memorials.

The Ladies Memorial Association, the Stephen Mallory Camp 1315 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Save Southern Heritage, Inc. Florida Chapter, and others sued Pensacola in state court after the City Council voted to remove the monument in July 2020.

The city had the case removed to federal court, where a federal judge ruled the group lacked standing to sue the city clearing the way for the city to remove the monument in October 2020.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May 2022 that the federal court that cleared the way for the monument’s removal lacked the jurisdiction to make the ruling, and it sent the case back to state court.

There was no activity in the case since October when Save South Heritage and the other plaintiffs filed a motion to have the case moved back under Escambia County Circuit Court Judge Gary Bergosh.

Bergosh originally issued a temporary restraining order in July 2020 that blocked the monument’s removal until the case was transferred to federal court.

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