Monday, October 11, 2010

Mississippi Judge Jails Lawyer for Refusing to Recite Pledge of Allegiance. Here is the Contempt Order, too.

What blows me away is that, in this day and age, such nonsense still happens. Being able to refuse to recite a pledge of allegiance is fundamental to our constitutional liberties. Props to this attorney, who is willing to go to jail to protect this basic right.

And by the way, this issue was decided by the Supreme Court back in 1943: "'[N]o official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.' West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642, 63 S.Ct. 1178, 1187, 87 L.Ed. 1628 (1943). A state therefore may not compel any person to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag." Sherman v. Community Consol. School Dist. 21 of Wheeling Tp., 980 F.2d 437 (7th Cir. 1992).

Requiring the lawyer to recite the Pledge upon pain of contempt and jailing is a clear violation of well-settled constitutional law. The Mississippi Chancellor should know better.

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