Judge blocks removal of Confederate statue from Arlington National Cemetary

The Confederate monument was to be removed from Arlington National Cemetary this week, as part of the Department of Defense's plan to rid its facilities of symbols honoring and sanitizing slavery. But U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston ordered crews to halt work.

A spokesperson for the cemetery, managed by the U.S. Defense Department, said the Army was complying with the restraining order and had ceased removal work begun in the morning atop the statue, known as the Confederate Memorial. The cemetery's own online critique describes the monument's imagery and inscriptions as sanitizing pre-Civil War slavery, romanticizing secession of the Southern pro-slave states, and perpetuating the noble "Lost Cause" myth of the Confederacy.

The excuse is that taking down the statue might disturb the surrounding burial grounds, even if the granine plinth it rests upon is left exactly as it is.