TRI In The News
Militia Group Agrees Never to Return to Charlottesville Under Conditions
A group defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white supremacist organization has agreed to never return to Charlottesville, but with certain stipulations.
The League of the South reached an agreement with the city as a result of a lawsuit it faces stemming from the Unite the Right Rally on August 12.
Other defendants in the lawsuit include Jason Kessler, Vanguard America, Virginia Minutemen Militia, and more.
The plaintiffs in that lawsuit include the city of Charlottesville, Champion Brewing Company, Alakazam Toys and Gifts, Rapture, and more.
The intent for filing the suit is to prevent paramilitary groups from "inflicting such harms on the community."
Members of League of the South are banned from returning as a group of "two or more while armed with a gun, weapon, shield or any item that could cause harm."
The agreement was finalized earlier this month.
Judge Richard Moore signed the consent decree in Charlottesville’s circuit court March 14.
The League of the South was founded in 1994 and advocates that southern states secede from the United States.
The Rutherford Institute, which seeks to defend civil liberties, says the group's second amendment rights are not violated in the agreement because it made the choice voluntarily.
"No one should be bringing weapons to any kind of first amendment protest. You have a general second amendment right to do so. In this case, it doesn't violate the second amendment rights because they agreed to do away with them,” said John Whitehead, Rutherford Institute.
The League of the South is allowed to return to Charlottesville and even protest if it chooses to do so--- but members must be peaceful.
According to NBC29's legal analyst Lloyd Snook, the group could appeal the decree if it wanted. Snook says, however, this is unlikely.
"They would have to decide if it's worth it to hire a lawyer to come in and fight about all of this stuff. There are 49 other states and hundreds of other cities in Virginia they could go to to asset their rights," said Snook.
The League is just one of more than a dozen groups and individuals that the city, Charlottesville businesses, and neighborhood groups are seeking to permanently ban following August 12.
Snook says the other organizations involved with the lawsuit should consider the same consent decree.
The agreement with the city is not an admission of wrongdoing by League of the South.
The city of Charlottesville denied NBC29's request for comment on the legal decree.