A ruling was filed on Feb. 28 regarding the lawsuit Louisiana Division Sons of Confederate Veterans versus the City of Natchitoches and the Historic District Business Association filed Motions For Summary Judgment (“MSJ”) which the court took under advisement approximately 7 months ago and rendered its decision yesterday. A MSJ is only granted in those cases where the Court finds there is no issue relative to either the facts of the case or the law governing the case. The court dismissed the SCV’s claims with prejudice, and all other pending motions are denied as moot.
The lawsuit arose after the SCV’s application was denied for participation in the 2015 Christmas Festival Parade. The SCV participated in the parade in prior years and anticipated it would continue to do so. However, their application was denied on the basis that, for many, the confederate flag is offensive. The City believed these comments to be reasonable so Mayor Lee Posey wrote a letter to the HDBA Christmas Festival Committee. It stated that the display of the Confederate flag in the parade could be taken as a public endorsement of a symbol that is viewed as racially inflammatory. The City was concerned that the visible display of the flag could cause substantial disruption or interference with the parade.
The Committee honored the mayor’s request. The SCV filed a lawsuit alleging the City and the HDBA infringed upon the organization’s rights under the First and Fourth Amendments to free speech and due process, in violation of the Civil Rights Act.