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Mississippi Lawyer Jailed for Refusing to Recite Pledge of Allegiance

4 years ago
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"With liberty and justice for all." A Mississippi judge jailed a lawyer for several hours this week for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but the attorney wouldn't back down and says he's still processing the incident and trying to decide what to do next.

On Wednesday, Chancery Judge Talmadge Littlejohn told Oxford lawyer Danny Lampley to "purge himself" of contempt by standing and repeating the oath like others in the courtroom. When Lampley wouldn't budge, the judge put him in the can for 4½ hours, eventually releasing him so he could represent another client, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.
Mississippi lawyer Danny Lampley
"I don't have to say it because I'm an American," Lampley said. "I'm just to going to back off on this." The law seems to be on Lampley's side. Way back in 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to salute the flag and say the pledge.

Lampley, 49, a graduate of the University of Mississippi Law, said his telephone started ringing at 6:55 a.m. Thursday with reaction to his situation. "It's going to take me a couple of days to wrap my mind around this," he told the newspaper. "It started so early, it's been hard to get something to eat."

Littlejohn, a former state legislator, has immunity as a jurist and can't be sued, according to Ole Miss Law Professor George Cochran.

Filed Under: Gaffes, Culture, Ethics, Law

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I don't agree with the fact he was put in jail but If he is going to live in this country he should have some alliance to it. but anytime a judge thinks he is so powerful he can make people do stuff like this he needs to be impeached and thrown out of office....

October 09 2010 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Vilvens

They should disband the united states. It is such a bad thing to say the pledge allegiance. This should not have happened. But whar is this country coming to. Obama bowing to other leaders, running down america at ever turn. President of mexico running down americia in our house. Now he is building a fence on his southern border. Mrs. Obama was proud of america for the first time when he was elected. I was once very proud of what america stood for. Now I do not know what it stands for anymore.

October 08 2010 at 7:35 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

Ridiculous! We need to make judges more accountable, or get better judges. This is a clear violation of this man's civil rights. Even lawyers should not face discrimination or be forced to recite what they do not believe.

October 08 2010 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to trb2244's comment

Rubbish- it's the attorney's job to best represent their client, not make a judge's courtroom a personal line in the sand, making a statement expressing his or her beliefs- especially knowing it's expected (whether or not you agree, as within the law, the judge determines protocol within their courtroom, and this certainly didn't break any law). One could argue that in annoying the judge he damaged his client's chances of getting a fair hearing and in doing so failed his duty.

October 08 2010 at 3:02 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

rokdoc, a better argument could be for the judge to send the case to another court since the judge displayed his prejudice against the attorney and therefore the client with his disregard for the constitution!

October 08 2010 at 6:02 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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