Kirk Lyons, an attorney representing The Sons of Confederate Veterans, filed a plea with the Texas Third Court of Appeals to set up another hearing at the District Court level in the Jefferson Davis statue case last week.
After UT filed a plea with the jurisdiction, the judge dismissed the case filed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans seeking to halt removal of the statue at the District Court level. Soon after, Lyons petitioned the court for another hearing Aug. 31, the day after the statue was removed from the Main Mall.
“We had to get something filed or else we knew the statues would come down over the weekend,” Lyons said. “So we appealed, and we got the Supreme Court in Texas, and we couldn’t get a hearing and the clock ran out, and on Aug. 30, they took thestatue down.”
Lyons said the District Court decided that the court did not have jurisdiction over what UT decided to do with the statues. According to Lyons, because the District Court decided that they did not have jurisdiction, they voided an injunction that was previously ordered. This injunction barred the Sons of Confederate Veterans from stopping the removal of the statues.
“If it is true that the judge had no jurisdiction to hear the case, then she shouldn’t have been denying a temporary injunction,” Lyons said. “She should have just dismissed it, and we could have been on our way to the Court of Appeals.”
Lyons said he thinks the case will stand. The new case will most likely be set back up at the District Court level in a few months, according to Lyons.
“A few months will go by, and we’ll be here, and the case will be set back up,” Lyons said. “We’ll just have to keep our friends on campus stirred up until then.”
Lyons said he plans to attend President Fenves’ inauguration to keep the discussion about the statue alive until the case is heard. Lyons said he intends to plant Confederate flags in a “discreet” area around the inauguration site, Bass Concert Hall.
“It’s legally wrong, and it’s morally wrong what they did, and we intend to make an impact on campus so that Greg Fenves doesn’t get to forget his crime against art and history,” Lyons said. “We will stick around until the statue comes back up.”
The University declined to comment on the issue.
Correction: Kirk Lyons, an attorney representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans, filed a plea to the Texas Third Court of Appeals, not the U.S. Court of Appeals.