OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
In another blow to the woke liberals, a court has decided that the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has to uncover a statue of famed explorer Christopher Columbus.
The statue in Marconi Plaza has been covered by a plywood box since protests around it began in 2020.
But on Friday the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania said that the statue has to be uncovered,, which affirmed a ruling by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.
The court determined that a structure could be erected around the statue but that it would have to be transparent.
“As a proud Citizen of Philadelphia, I am delighted that both Judge Patrick of the Court of Common Pleas and the Judges of the Commonwealth Court have boldly reaffirmed that the rule of law still matters,” George Bochetto, an attorney for a group named Friends of Marconi Plaza, to NBC 10. “That we are not a society ruled by cancel culture mobs. That all ethnic groups can proudly protect and honor their diverse heritages.”
“We are very disappointed in the Court’s ruling,” Kevin Lessard, a spokesman for Mayor Jim Kenney said. “We continue to believe that the Christopher Columbus statue, which has been a source of controversy in Philadelphia, should be removed from its current position at Marconi Plaza. We are continuing to review the Court’s latest ruling and are working to comply with the Court’s orders, including unboxing.
“While we will respect this decision, we will also continue to explore our options for a way forward that allows Philadelphians to celebrate their heritage and culture while respecting the histories and circumstances of everyone’s different backgrounds,” he said.
The Daily Wire reported.
Friends of Marconi Plaza, a neighborhood organization recognized by the city as the official private caretakers of the park, sued in 2021 to stop city officials from removing the statue after the Philadelphia Historical and Art Commissions both voted to have it removed in the wake of the 2020 riots, and the city’s Licensing and Inspection Review Board sided with the city and moved forward with taking the statue down.
The Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County ruled in favor of Friends of Marconi Plaza in 2021, halting the removal of the statue.
The Commonwealth Court upheld the lower court’s ruling. In a separate order shared by Fox 29 News reporter Steve Keeley, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision in part, directing the city to remove the plywood enclosure; however, it also reversed the decision in part, authorizing the construction of a clear structure around the statue…
The statue, first erected in 1876 and moved in 1976, was targeted by protesters in the summer of 2020 in the midst of riots over the death of George Floyd, which included tearing down statues of historical figures around the country. But South Philadelphia residents, mainly Italian-Americans, showed up to the park to guard the statue from protesters.
In October Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Max Baer passed away at 74.
The longtime liberal justice reportedly died suddenly at his home near Pittsburgh.
The unexpected death made the Pennsylvania governor’s race in November that much more important. The governor will name his replacement.
“This is a tremendous loss for the Court and all of Pennsylvania,” the newly appointed Chief Justice Debra Todd, who is the longest serving justice on the court, said in a statement.
“Pennsylvania has lost a jurist who served the Court and the citizens of the Commonwealth with distinction,” she continued. “Chief Justice Baer was an influential and intellectual jurist whose unwavering focus was on administering fair and balanced justice.”
“He was a tireless champion for children, devoted to protecting and providing for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens,” the statement read.
“Baer was first elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2003 and was sworn in as chief justice in 2021 after a lengthy legal career. The justice was set to retire at the end of the year at the age of 75, which is the court’s mandatory retirement age,” Fox News reported.
“The Pittsburgh native reportedly graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971 before obtaining his law degree from Duquesne University School of Law in 1975. Baer also served as deputy attorney general for Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1980,” the outlet added.
“His distinguished service and commitment to justice and fairness spanned his decades on the bench – first as a family court judge in Allegheny County and eventually as an administrative judge in family court before being elected to serve on the Supreme Court,” Todd said. “On behalf of the Court, we offer our deepest condolences to Chief Justice Baer’s family, friends, and colleagues.”
Max Baer, the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has died only months before he was set to retire, the court confirmed Saturday. He was 74. https://t.co/gG7tL3Ek3p
— The Intelligencer (@TheIntellNews) October 2, 2022
The passing of Baer means Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf will fill the vacancy left in the state’s highest court.