Sons of Confederate Veterans, et al. v. Henry Cty. Bd of CommissionersAnnotate this Case
This appeal presented only a discrete and important threshold question to the underlying case: whether the Georgia Constitution required a plaintiff to establish some cognizable injury to bring a lawsuit in Georgia courts, i.e., to have standing to sue, separate and apart from the statutory authorization to bring suit. The Georgia Supreme Court found T. Davis Humphries, as a private citizen, had standing to assert a claim for injunctive relief against her local county government for its planned removal of a Confederate monument in alleged violation of OCGA § 50-3-1. But the other plaintiffs — the various Sons of Confederate Veterans entities — did not show that they were members of the communities the governments of which they sought to sue, and they alleged no other cognizable injury sufficient to establish their standing. The Court of Appeals was therefore wrong to affirm the dismissal of Humphries’s complaint for a lack of standing as to her claim for injunctive relief, but it was right to affirm the dismissal of the complaints filed by the various Sons of Confederate Veterans groups. The Supreme Court did not reach the question of whether Humphries had standing for her claim for damages under OCGA § 50-3-1, because the cause of action that statute purported to create had not yet arisen; by the statute’s terms, the cause of action arose only upon the occurrence of conduct prohibited by the statute, and that conduct had not yet occurred.