On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, nine nonprofit organizations joined America’s Future in connection with the Amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) concerning Heltzel v Youngkin, No. 21-1084 (2022).
America’s Future filed in support of the Petitioner Janet Heltzel, et al. who was fighting against “cancel culture,” more specifically against the destruction of the Lee Monument, a Virginia statue of Robert E. Lee, erected in 1890 on land conveyed, by contract, to the Lee Monument Association reserving a portion solely to serve as the venue of the Robert E. Lee’s statue. The Lee Monument stood for 130 years. On June 4, 2020, Ralph Northam, the former governor of Virginia, announced the removal of the statue following desecration of the monument with vile statements like “F*** Cops.” Upon notice to the community, the former governor approved removal of the statue, and litigation began.
Procedurally, the petitioner in this case was initially granted injunctive relief late in the summer of 2020. Eventually, however, on September 2, 2021, the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Virginia affirmed the state’s intermediate appellate court’s decision to dismiss the case. Now that this case is in front of the SCOTUS, the highest Court in our land has an opportunity to “restore the Rule of Law in one important area — preserving the obligation of contracts from abrogation by arbitrary state government action.” America’s Future and the other amici organizations contend, “[t]hat the Contract Clause [located in Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution] should apply even to the Governor’s [former Virginia governor Ralph Northam] unilateral actions, just as the First Amendment’s admonition that ‘Congress shall make no law,’ applies to the Executive [Branch] as well.” Any infringement on the rights of any one American, is infringement on the rights of an entire nation and that can not stand. America’s Future is committed to protecting the individual rights of all citizens and preserving our Constitutional Republic. We will keep readers up-to-date on our organization’s legal filings and other advocacy efforts. A review of the First Amendment is included in our Bill of Rights series available here.
UPDATE: America’s Future learned on March 28, 2022, that the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear this case. Whether or not the Lee Monument fosters negative, positive, or neutral feelings for an individual, the legal issues raised in this case, particularly under the Contract Clause of the Constitution, should have prevailed and the Court should not have denied the petition to hear the case.
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