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State, Jacksonville lawyers ask judge to dismiss lawsuit targeting Confederate monuments

James Weldon Johnson Park, then Hemming Park, is pictured on June 9, 2020, shortly after the city removed its Confederate statue.
Heather Schatz

A Jacksonville-area civil rights activist’s lawsuit over using tax money to maintain Confederate monuments should be thrown out of court, lawyers for the state and city are telling a federal judge.

Earl M. Johnson Jr., who organized the nonprofit Take It Down Inc. to champion removing the monuments from public land, argued in a suit filed in July that using taxpayer money for tributes to the Confederacy violated the U.S. Constitution’s 13th and 14th Amendments.

But a lawyer for the state argued last week that Johnson “has failed to allege any actual, justiciable case or controversy … that demonstrate a real threat of immediate injury that needs to be resolved.”

Read the rest of the story in The Florida Times Union.