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SPLC Applauds the American Bar Association for Urging the Removal of Confederate Memorials from Courthouses

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued the following statement from Tafeni English-Relf, director of the Alabama State Office and the Civil Rights Memorial Center, in response to the American Bar Association’s passage of Resolution 402, which encourages the removal of racial and ethnic bias symbols of the Confederate States of America and depictions of Confederate leaders from courthouses. The resolution passed unopposed.

“The SPLC applauds the American Bar Association (ABA) for urging the removal of Confederate memorabilia – along with other symbols of racial and ethnic bias – from facilities where court proceedings are held. The SPLC wholeheartedly agrees.

“Keeping these relics in place underscores the systemic racial bias in this country that had existed since before the Civil War was lost and has no place in a modern, civilized society. The psychological effects of this imagery on judges, attorneys, litigants, jurors, witnesses and pedestrians are real and documented by research.

“This unopposed measure urging federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments to remove symbols of hate from in and around courthouses firmly places the ABA on the right side of history. The decision also inspires confidence that all who enter halls of justice in the future can expect equal protection under the law.”


In February 2022, the SPLC released the third edition of its Whose Heritage? report, data, and map, which tracks public symbols of the Confederacy across the United States. The report shows that more than 2,000 Confederate memorials are still publicly present in the U.S., and over 700 are monuments.