Dismissal of lawsuit over Columbus Day name change upheld

Shown is the statue of Christopher Columbus at Marconi Plaza in Philadelphia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Philadelphia removed the plywood box it placed over the statue after 2020 protests over racial injustice. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that the mayor of Philadelphia discriminated against Italian Americans in renaming the city’s Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. A U.S. District judge ruled a year ago that the council member and three Italian American heritage groups suing hadn’t been harmed by Mayor Jim Kenney’s executive order. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday that the government “does not violate the Equal Protection Clause every time it affirms or celebrates an ethnicity.” Attorney George Bochetto, who filed the lawsuit, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.