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Judge strikes down motions to dismiss lawsuit that takes aim at tax-funded Confederacy tributes

Florida Gov. DeSantis and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Thursday, a federal judge struck down motions to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to end the tax funding of Confederate tributes.

Earl Johnson Jr. doesn't want tax dollars going towards any entity named after the Confederacy.

According to Johnson's lawsuit there are 47 different named tributes to the Confederacy in the middle district of Florida, and that includes the names of five counties.

Johnson filed a lawsuit saying that the use of tax dollars for Confederate monuments is unconstitutional according to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Gov. DeSantis and Mayor Lenny Curry are listed as defendants.

Both filed a motion to dismiss the complaint Wednesday which was struck down by a judge one day later.

In May 2020, Curry removed part of a confederate monument in James Weldon Johnson Park, but the phrase 'Confederate memorial' is still in plain view on the base of the monument.

This lawsuit is personal for Johnson, his father was Martin Luther King Jr's attorney and used the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to desegregate Florida.

"And now 60 years later I'm using the act to remove the symbols of white supremacy while he removed the signs of whites only, colors only," Johnson previously told First Coast News.

Earl Johnson Jr is not asking for any money in his lawsuit, just a declaratory judgement and action by Mayor Curry and Governor DeSantis.

To learn more about the efforts of Earl Johnson Jr and the removal of confederate monuments visit his website takeitdown.org.

RELATED: Jacksonville Mayor Curry budgets $500K to remove Confederate monuments, faces split council

RELATED: Take It Down: Lawsuit takes aim at tax dollars that fund tributes to Confederacy


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