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Federal judge stops Dallas from removing Lee statue

[JURIST] Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas [official website] issued a temporary restraining order [text] on Wednesday prohibiting Dallas, Texas, officials from removing a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee. The restraining order came after the Dallas City Council [official website] voted [City Council press release] 13 to 1 on Wednesday to remove the statue immediately. The Sons of Confederate Veterans [advocacy site] filed a complaint the same day, alleging [Dallas News report] that the voting was done improperly. The restraining order is in effect until a hearing on Thursday afternoon.

Debate has intensified in the past years over the acceptability of confederate symbols in everyday life. Last March a federal appeals court ruled [JURIST report] that New Orleans can remove Confederate statues. Last year a federal lawsuit was filed [JURIST report] against the governor of Mississippi challenging the state flag, the last one in the country that bears the Confederate battle emblem. In August 2015 a judge in Texas denied [JURIST report] a request for a temporary restraining order to halt the University of Texas at Austin from relocating a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. That July South Carolina removed [JURIST report] the Confederate flag from the state house.

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