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Thread: Lawyer jailed over pledge refusal in court

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    Lawyer jailed over pledge refusal in court

    What is this nation coming to?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OCTOBER 7--A Mississippi judge yesterday jailed a lawyer who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in his courtroom.

    Attorney Danny Lampley, 49, was taken into custody Wednesday morning after Chancellor Talmadge Littlejohn cited him for criminal contempt of court for failing to recite the 31-word pledge at the outset of the morning’s proceedings at the Lee County courthouse.

    An October 6 order signed by Talmadge notes that Lampley was being charged for his “failure to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance as ordered.” Lampley, the judge added, “shall purge himself of said criminal contempt…by standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in open court.”

    Lampley, pictured in the mug shots at right, was jailed for nearly five hours before Littlejohn ordered his release so that the lawyer could be present for a “previously set hearing before the Court.” The attorney, no longer in stripes, returned to the Tupelo courthouse after being sprung from jail.

    It is unclear whether Lampley, who does not believe citizens are required to recite the pledge, will again be sanctioned by Littlejohn if he takes a pass on the pledge.


    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...pledge-refusal

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    The judge should be thrown off the bench.
    Last edited by Tawnos; 11-08-2010 at 02:08 PM.
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    Not enough detail.

    Was the lawyer required to be in the courtroom during the pledge? If so, it would be reasonable to make him stand when everyone stands, but not to make him recite the pledge.

    If the lawyer chose to be in the courtroom at the time of the pledge and, by way of some kind of protest, wouldn't stand or made a show of not saying the pledge, then he was indeed in contempt.

    The media tend not to give us all the details, especially when they want us to come down on one side of the issue or the other.

    I will withhold judgment until I have those details.

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    I applaud the Judge, The Pledge of Allegiance is a statement of patriotic loyalty and shows respect to those who gave their all to protect this nation One important angle for atheists to remember when opposing the Pledge is that the words "under God" were added during the Cold War, during the McCarthy Era of anti-atheist and anti-Communism. The anti-Communist movement was always an anti-atheist movement, as McCarthy himself declared when launching his "war": Because this wording ("under God") was intended specifically to endorse McCarthy's anti-atheist sentiments, people usually have a very easy time opposing any requirement to recite the pledge. I can understand people whom don't want to say under God is fine by me, but don't just sit there like a bump on a long and slap the faces of all those who fought for your right to act like an "donkey".
    Last edited by zack991; 11-08-2010 at 02:21 PM.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Contempt of Court. You WILL do what the Judge wants or you CAN go straight to jail. That's the way it works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    Contempt of Court. You WILL do what the Judge wants or you CAN go straight to jail. That's the way it works.
    So, if the judge asks you to perform oral satisfaction on him before any testimony is made, you must follow those orders? Sorry to sound extreme here, but where exactly is the line drawn?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    I applaud the Judge, The Pledge of Allegiance is a statement of patriotic loyalty and shows respect to those who gave their all to protect this nation One important angle for atheists to remember when opposing the Pledge is that the words "under God" were added during the Cold War, during the McCarthy Era of anti-atheist and anti-Communism. The anti-Communist movement was always an anti-atheist movement, as McCarthy himself declared when launching his "war": Because this wording ("under God") was intended specifically to endorse McCarthy's anti-atheist sentiments, people usually have a very easy time opposing any requirement to recite the pledge. I can understand people whom don't want to say under God is fine by me, but don't just sit there like a bump on a long and slap the faces of all those who fought for your right to act like an "donkey".
    I'd rather have the freedom to voluntarily refuse to recite the pledge than to be FORCED to recite it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    So, if the judge asks you to perform oral satisfaction on him before any testimony is made, you must follow those orders? Sorry to sound extreme here, but where exactly is the line drawn?
    There is a persistent myth that some folks have power that cannot be questioned. That situation does not exist in this country. There is not one person who is not answerable for their actions to somebody.

    And the ultimate somebody is We the People.

    I am not satisfied that it has been established that the judge overstepped his bounds. However, if he required a recitation of the pledge by someone forced to be present (and not just standing out of respect for others or waiting outside the courtroom until the pledge has been completed), then he overstepped his bounds.

    A judge has nearly absolute, but decidedly not absolute, authority in his courtroom.

    Some folks need to examine their axioms about the power people in authority in this country have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I'd rather have the freedom to voluntarily refuse to recite the pledge than to be FORCED to recite it.
    I never said you should be forced to say it, but at least get the hell up and show some respect to the flag and to those who gave it all in protecting this great country. That is all I ask from people, it ticks me off more than anything.
    Last edited by zack991; 11-08-2010 at 03:08 PM.

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    the Pledge should be recited in English -- and English only.
    OT - found this story while searching for other reports of the above story.
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    A quote from there said "English is our language."

    It's news to me that the United States has an official language...

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    I forget the name of the case... was the 1970's as I recall... was a SCOTUS ruling that found it unconstitutional to require students to recite the pledge in school.

    I would think the same liberty would apply to a lawyer in a court room?

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddy4count View Post
    I forget the name of the case... was the 1970's as I recall... was a SCOTUS ruling that found it unconstitutional to require students to recite the pledge in school.

    I would think the same liberty would apply to a lawyer in a court room?
    That 'lawyer' is an officer of the court. He has sworn an oath. This example is from LA.

    I solemnly swear (or affirm) I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Louisiana;

    I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;

    I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land;

    I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by an artifice or false statement of fact or law;

    I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my client, and will accept no compensation in connection with a client's business except from the client or with the client's knowledge and approval;

    I will abstain from all offensive personality, and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;

    I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or delay any person's cause for lucre or malice.

    So help me God.


    Now... if he won't pledge allegience to the flag and nation whose Constitution he has sworn to uphold and defend... and such reaffirmation is required by Judge So 'n So's Court... then yeah, he can be held in Contempt. Same as on a military installation when colors or retreat is sounded. You better stop dead and salute in the general direction of the base flagstaff (even if you can't see it) untill the bugle call is complete.

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    Last edited by Sonora Rebel; 11-08-2010 at 04:01 PM.

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    Criminal Contempt...To be a crime there must be a damaged party.
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    Sonara - please tell me where the line is drawn. If "rules are rules", then what is an inappropriate rule that cannot be enforced with contempt, and what makes it exempt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    A quote from there said "English is our language."

    It's news to me that the United States has an official language...
    Of course we have an official language. English.

    Our Founding Documents were written in English. Laws are passed in English. Regulations are written in English. Highway signs are in English. Court proceedings are conducted and published in English. Etc.

    We just don't have the stones to expect folks who come here to adopt the language, and we bend over backwards to accommodate them to our own detriment.

    I picked up a box in the BX a few months ago and had a heckuva time figuring out what was in it. Between the four languages on the box and the 200 or so warnings and legal disclaimers, there wasn't much room for the product name!

    If the discussion continues to that point, I'll be happy to link my English official language proposed constitutional amendment. I think it actually increases Liberty while fostering a common language.

    BTW, we talked about the government's responsibility in setting standards of weights and measures in another thread and the importance of being able to communicate using agreed-upon terms. What greater standard of agreed-upon terms is there than an entire language?

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    Nowhere in our documents does it say that we have an official english. We use english, because most (soon, maybe not so) citizens speak it. English is the de facto language of the county.
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    Last edited by Doug Huffman; 11-08-2010 at 05:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elixin77 View Post
    Nowhere in our documents does it say that we have an official english. We use english, because most (soon, maybe not so) citizens speak it. English is the de facto language of the county.
    Meanwhile multi-lingual documents are mandated de jure, a fine argument for English as the "official language" de jure.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    Sonara - please tell me where the line is drawn. If "rules are rules", then what is an inappropriate rule that cannot be enforced with contempt, and what makes it exempt?
    Go find your own damn line(s). You can't even spell Sonora... and you come up with all this other crap? 10-1 you're in your teens or very early 20's... a flamin' liberal who expects everything handed to 'em... including the answers. There's no set piece scenario. Life's not that simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    I can understand people whom don't want to say under God is fine by me, but don't just sit there like a bump on a long and slap the faces of all those who fought for your right to act like an "donkey".
    I resemble that remark!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    Go find your own damn line(s). You can't even spell Sonora... and you come up with all this other crap? 10-1 you're in your teens or very early 20's... a flamin' liberal who expects everything handed to 'em... including the answers. There's no set piece scenario. Life's not that simple.
    What "crap" am I coming up with? LOL@ Calling me a "flaming liberal" because I support civil liberties. Socially, yes, I am very liberal. Fiscally, I am very conservative. You do not know me. You are the one who are making these accusations that "rules are rules", so please, go ahead and cite a source stating what consists of "contempt of court". Remember, the site policies say that if you're going to make a statement regarding legalities, you must do your best at citing a legitimate source. By the way, I am a 28 year old man - not that it has absolutely anything to do with this conversation.

    And if I'm not mistaken, I think I read elsewhere that the judge did come up with that policy himself. As has been mentioned, the judge is there to preside over hearings, he is not a deity nor can he arbitrarily order anyone to do whatever he wants them to do simply because it's his courtroom.

    So, tell me "Sonora", where is the line drawn? What orders, if anything, in your mind, constitutes a violation of law?

    What if the judge asked everyone in the court room to say a prayer to Jesus Christ, despite there being Muslims, Jews and Buddhists present? Should he toss them all in jail for refusing?

    How about try answering the question instead of throwing out the red herring.
    Last edited by Aaron1124; 11-08-2010 at 08:05 PM.

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    Aaron,

    I am sorry you had to tolerate such an unnecessarily insulting post. Normally, I don't have to read that stuff. But you saw fit to quote it!

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    Here is Volokh's take:

    Eugene Volokh • October 7, 2010 4:32 pm

    That’s what the Court held 67 years ago even as to schoolchildren, and the rationale of the case would squarely apply to others, such as lawyers. But news travels slowly to one Mississippi courtroom, where Chancery Judge Talmadge Littlejohn sent a lawyer to jail for contempt of court, because the lawyer refused to say the pledge. (The lawyer apparently did stand during the pledge, but didn’t speak.) “Give thanks for your freedom, son, or I’m sending you to jail,” is how Radley Balko (The Agitator) put it.

    The judge apparently changed his mind a few hours later, and released the lawyer. I’m happy to say that Tom Freeland (NMissCommentator) was working on an emergency petition for mandamus on the lawyer’s behalf, but that seems to have become moot as a result of the judge’s change of mind.

    [UPDATE: Maybe further legal action will indeed be necessary; Judge Littlejohn’s order releasing the lawyer says that “the issue of further incarceration shall be held in abeyance pending further order of this Court.”]

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Aaron,

    I am sorry you had to tolerate such an unnecessarily insulting post. Normally, I don't have to read that stuff. But you saw fit to quote it!
    That's alright - the guy is obviously just trolling for an argument, considering he completely disregarded my (legitimate) question. Oh well, I figure once the individual starts disregarding the topic, and starts resorting to blind assumptions to a political affiliation based off of what is said in a thread, then all hope is already lost with them.

    Anywho, I'll step aside from this thread for a while, because I don't see it rising back from the hellhole that it's fallen in to.

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