N Carolina GOP leaders don’t want Confederate statues moved

This Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, photo shows a Confederate monument honoring Henry Lawson Wyatt at the state Capitol in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Thursday pressed a state panel not to grant Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's request to relocate Confederate monuments from the old Capitol grounds, with one leader predicting that any such approval would be overturned in court. Wyatt is purported to be the first Confederate Soldier killed in action. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders are urging a state commission not to grant Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s request to relocate three Confederate monuments from the old Capitol grounds.

House Republican leaders sent a memo to the North Carolina Historical Commission on Thursday, the day before the panel is to meet to consider the Cooper administration’s petition to move the monuments to a Civil War battlefield 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Raleigh.

Senate leader Phil Berger also copied commission members with his letter to Cooper asking he withdraw his request. Berger argued if the commission approved the request it likely would be overturned in court.

A state law limits where the monuments can be relocated. Cooper has said moving them to the Bentonville Battlefield complies with the law.