Austin judge rules Confederate statue can be moved by UT

An Austin district judge ruled Thursday that a statue of Jefferson Davis on the University of Texas campus can be moved.

Judge Karin Crump denied the request from the Sons of Confederate Veterans for a temporary injunction, implying that they had no standing to bring a case. 

The statue sits near that of Woodrow Wilson, although this hearing focused on Davis. Both statues will be moved due to the placement of the statues. 

The Sons of the Confederate Veterans claim UT has no right to move the statues. They say founder George Littlefield explicitly said in his will that the statue should be placed in a prominent place.... and that moving the Davis statue to the Briscoe Center is not prominent.

UT’s lawyers argued that the Sons of Confederate Veterans had no standing to sue because they have no right to enforce Littlefield’s will.

They also argue that moving it could destroy it because of how it was made.

The plaintiffs called witnesses, including a bronze sculptor, who testified about the possible damage.

One of the attorneys for the university, however, argued that moving it inside would actually preserve it. They plan to refurbish it before it's placed inside the Briscoe Center.

Senator Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, released a statement saying, "I’m pleased that, once again, UT can begin the process of removing the Jefferson Davis statue from the campus’ Main Mall." He continued, "we shouldn’t glorify people whose main claim to historical relevance stems from their defense of human slavery.”

The university says the statue will be moved in the “next few days.”