by The Associated Press
In court documents filed last month, Madison County made clear it will fight the $25,000 fine imposed by the state of Alabama for removing a Confederate monument from courthouse grounds.
Responding to a lawsuit brought by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Madison County said the 2017 monument protection law is “unconstitutionally vague” and the fine outlined in the law is “unconstitutionally excessive.”
Madison County, which removed its monument from downtown Huntsville on Oct. 23, has joined the city of Birmingham in opposing paying the fine. A judge last year ordered Birmingham to pay the fine after it constructed a plywood barrier in 2017 around the base of a Confederate monument in Linn Park.
The Madison County monument has been relocated nearby to a Confederate cemetery within historic Maple Hill Cemetery which is owned by the city of Huntsville.
In the answer to Marshall’s lawsuit, Madison County listed 12 “defenses” of its actions – ranging from the Madison County Commission’s effort to receive a waiver to remove the monument to points of law, such as “the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
The response was filed by Huntsville attorneys George Royer and David Canupp along with Jeff Rich, the inhouse attorney for Madison County. The AGs office had no comment on Madison County’s response to the law