Jindal wants Confederate monuments to stay
BATON ROUGE - A move by Gov. Bobby Jindal and his staff to put a halt to the removal of several controversial Confederate statues in New Orleans may be over before it started.
Following a vote Thursday by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission that pushed forward efforts to remove statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee, Jindal's administration said they might be able to invoke a state law known as the "Heritage Act" to block bringing the statues down. On Friday, it was revealed that no such law exists on the books in the state of Louisiana.
Jindal and his staff reversed remarks made following the commission's decision, but they say they are still doing research into what authority the governor's office has to prevent the removal of the monuments. Those monuments have caused plenty of debate in New Orleans as recent events have led the city to discuss the value of keeping the statues up when many residents feel they represent the oppression of a large percentage of the Big Easy's population.
A spokesperson for the Lieutenant Governor's Office said there aren't any laws on the books in the state, like the non-existent "Heritage Act", that would allow the Jindal administration to block the New Orleans City Council's decision to remove the statues. The Lieutenant Governor's Office is in charge of overseeing the preservation of historic landmarks in the state. The Governor's Office will have to pursue a different avenue to block the effort.
In addition to the statues of Confederate leaders, a vote by the Historic District Landmarks Commission also calls for the removal of the Liberty Monument, which memorializes attacks by white New Orleanians on the state's Reconstruction-era biracial government.