Matthew Watkins, Texas Tribune

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson/Texas Tribune

The statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on the University of Texas at Austin campus will soon be removed from its prominent place on campus. 

Removal plans were cleared Thursday by a state district judge, who rejected a request from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to block UT-Austin’s plan to remove the bronze sculpture.

The Confederate group had argued that the statue has significant artistic and cultural value and could be damaged if removed. Lawyers for UT-Austin disputed that, but also said that the Sons Confederate Veterans didn’t have standing to sue.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Emphasizing his humble roots and military service, former Gov. Rick Perry made official Thursday what he has been hinting at for some time: He's running for president in 2016. 

"It's time," he said to a few hundred flag-waving supporters. "It's time to create real jobs; to raise wages; to create opportunity for all; to give every citizen a stake in this country; to restore hope — real hope to forgotten Americans."

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