Arizona Gov. Ducey Can Remove Confederate Monuments With Legislative Help

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 - 9:25am

It turns out Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey can do something about the removal of confederate monuments on Arizona state land.

Over the last few days, governors in Southern states have voluntarily stepped up to remove Confederate monuments after violence over several statues in Charlottesville, Virginia.

However, Ducey has chosen to leave that decision – at least for one monument at the State Capitol - to the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission.

A spokesman for his office said the commission has the power to relocate a monument off public land.

The three remaining monuments would ultimately need the Governor's approval after state lawmakers pass a bill to remove the Confederate markers.

Republican House Speaker JD Mesnard said the monuments deserve "thoughtful" discussion, and should be reviewed on a case by case basis.

He took issue with a monument at the Sierra Vista cemetery where it states, "Arizona Confederate veterans who sacrificed all in the struggle for independence and the constitutional right to self government."

"Look. I'm a big state sovereignty, states' rights guy," Mesnard insisted.

But, considering what the words meant to Confederates at the time, Mesnard said "To say I'm frustrated by the fact that the Civil War, that the South hung their state sovereignty hats on slavery, is just horrifying because that's not what I mean by state sovereignty."

The Governor's office said it is siding with public opinion. In a national Marist Poll for NPR, 62 percent of Americans were in favor of keeping the monuments in place. That same poll found nearly half of Americans believed President Trump's reaction to the Virginia violence was "inadequate."

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