It feels like every week there’s a new faction (rightfully) calling out the UNC System’s decision to give a Confederate monument and almost $2.6 million to a neo-Confederate group.
UNC students and faculty protested almost immediately. Our columnist T. Greg Doucette threatened to sue the Sons of Confederate Veterans because of a potential violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Attorney General Josh Stein said he was only asked about the legal aspects of the settlement, not the ethics of it. The Daily Tar Heel sued the Board of Governors over violations of North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law. And Friday, the DTH reported that the Sons of Confederate Veterans illegally operated a PAC to pour money into Republican legislatures, who then voted for the Board of Governors, which in turn gave the SCV millions.
But wait, there’s more!
On Tuesday, the President of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announced that the group would be appealing the Orange County Superior Court’s decision to block their intervention on behalf of students. They also filed a motion to stay any further proceedings so that none of the settlement money can be dispersed.
In layman’s terms: this battle is far from over.
BREAKING: Our fight continues on behalf of students & faculty who oppose the UNC System’s reckless decision to issue a 2.5M backdoor payout to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We’re appealing the decision blocking our intervention- students & faculty MUST be heard! #silentsham pic.twitter.com/zvIWAldlo1
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) January 14, 2020
Back in December, the group filed an intervention on behalf of students and faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill. The intervention was rejected, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour said he’d look into it. UNC System released a statement that they agreed that the students lacked standing to do so.
“At the December 20 hearing, this Court expressed interest in getting this case right,” the motion to stay says. “However, the Court will only be able to do so with the Movants’ participation as full parties in this case.”
“The factual circumstances surrounding this case are deeply disturbing: the coordination between the parties, the obvious legal defects in the plaintiff’s claims, the rush to finalize this deal and get the court’s approval before the public knew anything,” Mark Dorosin, a managing attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a press release. “We are taking action today because we believe it’s critical to stop where we are.”
The Orange County Superior Court is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter February 12. Students aren’t allowed to attend the hearing, according to the press release.