The Silent Sam storm is over—at least for now.

This morning, the same Orange County Superior Court judge who approved the secretly negotiated settlement between the UNC System and the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in November vacated that settlement, ruling that the SCV did not have standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place. This, of course, was obvious to anyone who’d been paying the slightest bit of attention. 

In case you’re new here: The UNC Board of Governors gave the SCV $74,999 to purchase the “rights” to the toppled monument from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which had gifted it to UNC in 1913. Arguing that these “rights” enabled it to claim possession of the felled Civil War participation trophy, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the SCV “sued” UNC. Eleven minutes after that, UNC settled the “lawsuit” with the neo-Confederates for $2.5 million. (As you’ve probably pieced together, this had all been worked out in advance.)

“While this was not the result we had hoped for, we respect the Court’s ruling in this case,” Ripley Rand, an attorney representing the Board of Governors, said in a statement. “Judge [Allen] Baddour gave us a fair hearing, and he afforded all parties the necessary time and consideration to be heard.”

Rand said the board will continue working toward a solution that “[meets] all their goals to protect [the] public safety of the University community, restore normality to campus, and be compliant with the Monuments Law.”

Students and faculty members sued to block the settlement, pointing out that since the UDC had given it to UNC a century ago, it was now UNC’s property, and neither the SCV nor the UDC had any claim to it. 

Again, all of this was obvious to anyone who’d been paying attention. 

The SCV told the court this morning that it had already spent $52,000 of the $2.5 million; there’s also the $74,999 it paid the UDC for those worthless “rights” to the hunk of metal.  Baddour asked the SCV for an affidavit by February 17.

The trust exists because of the Consent Judgment, so trust is automatically dissolved

Sturges said $52,000 has already been paid from the trust

My question: for what?— T. Greg “#SilentSham Vacated & DISMISSED” Doucette (@greg_doucette) February 12, 2020

On behalf of the people of the state of North Carolina, we would like our $126,999 back, please. 

The judge has yet to issue a written ruling. An appeal is likely. 

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.

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