The Robert E. Lee statue in Dallas won’t be coming down just yet.
As workers began the process of removing the Confederate monument Wednesday — after the City Council voted 13-1 to do so — a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order and set a hearing for Thursday afternoon, according to court records.
The motion for the restraining order was filed by Hiram Patterson of the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The motion argued that removing the Lee statue “is an imminent and unconstitutional attempt to curtail free speech by ordaining what mute political symbols must mean.”
U.S. District Judge Sydney A. Fitzwater is presiding over the case.
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The statue of Lee is located in Lee Park, a city park off Turtle Creek Boulevard in the Uptown area of Dallas.
Photos from WFAA showed workers at the statue with a ladder and a crane, prepping its removal.
City officials plan to store the Lee statue at Hensley Field, a storage facility in west Dallas, WFAA reported. A task force appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings is still working to determine a long-term plan for the statue of Lee and other Confederate monuments in the city.
As Confederate monuments have come under criticism again, there has been little resistance to them in the rural counties surrounding Fort Worth, where hundreds of Confederate veterans are buried and several towns are named after Confederate leaders. (Video by Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram) Max Faulknermfaulkner@star-telegram.com