Baltimore Lacked Authority to Take Down Confederate Statues

The Maryland Historical Trust has concluded that Baltimore officials didn’t have the legal authority to remove three monuments to the Confederacy and, while acknowledging it doesn’t plan to, the state agency reserved the right to order the city to put them back.

Elizabeth Hughes, director of the Maryland Historical Trust, shared those conclusions in an Oct. 20 letter to the head of Baltimore’s architectural preservation agency. She cited a 1984 contract between the state and the city that gave the trust final say on any changes to the monuments.