Calls to remove Confederate monuments in Georgia face a potential hurdle — politicians facing voters next year.
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Removing Confederate memorials, such as the “Lost Cause” monument on Decatur Square, will require a change in the state law that protects them. A petition is calling on local and state leaders to change the law.
Democratic state Rep. Howard Mosby, who represents Decatur, doesn’t see the political will to change the law.
“I know that from the governor’s office, down to the House and Senate leadership that they’re not too keen on pulling the trigger to make that happen,” Mosby said.
Kennesaw State University political science professor Kerwin Swint agrees that state lawmakers don’t have the political will to change the law soon.
“Changing the laws that protect any kind of memorial is going to be difficult to do, particularly next year in the General Assembly. It’s going to be an election year,” Swint said.
Swint believes the law could be changed in a couple of years, after a period of civil, long-term discussion.
When Georgia took the Confederate battle symbol off the state flag in 2001, part of the compromise lawmakers struck was a new state law that protected Confederate memorials and monuments from being removed, relocated or even altered.