Asheville Daily Planet
RSS Facebook
N.C. high court hears oral arguments in Vance Monument case; decision on fate of downtown landmark expected in the near future
Wednesday, 08 November 2023 21:34

From Staff Reports

RALEIGH — The state’s highest court heard oral arguments Nov. 1 in the “historic” case challenging the removal of a downtown Asheville monument honoring a Confederate-era governor, the Asheville Citizen Times reported on Nov. 2.

“A final opinion from the court could take weeks or months to be issued,” the ACT noted.

“In downtown Raleigh’s Justice Building, the seven justices heard 30 minutes of arguments, each from Edward Phillips, lawyer for the Society for the Historical Preservation of the 26th North Carolina Troops ― the group that brought the challenge against the city ― and Asheville Senior Assistant City Attorney Eric Edgerton,” the newspaper stated.

As for the oral arguments, the ACT noted:

“Issues of standing, a much-debated 2015 donation agreement and a similar monument removal case decided by the Supreme Court late last year, were central to the hearing.”

Meanwhile, NC Newsline reported on Nov. 2 that the monument preservationists are “suing to stop the city’s removal of the monument and potentially force them to re-erect it.”

NC Newsline’s report added the following:

That would mean the remembrance would again stand tall a spitting distance from the courthouse, a representation of a criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts black and brown North Carolinians to this day, more than 150 years after the end of slavery in the United States.

“‘If this monument is left in its original form, rather than completely removed, it will continue to serve as a symbol of white supremacy to those most affected by its presence,’ (Oralene) Simmons warned.”

Simmons is a descendant of one of the enslaved people owned by Vance — and, according to NC Newsline, she told a gathering in Raleigh that the monument is “a symbol of power.”

Simmons, served as co-chair of the Vance Monument Task Force, a group that recommended that the City of Asheville remove the monument, a suggestion that Asheville City Council voted to approve in March 2021. 

Most of the structure was taken down later that year, leaving just the base. The stones removed from the obelisk’s tower are being held in secret storage locations by the city.



contact | home

Copyright ©2005-2015 Star Fleet Communications

224 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801 | P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, NC 28814
phone (828) 252-6565 | fax (828) 252-6567

a Cube Creative Design site