The awesomely named Mississippi state judge Talmadge Littlejohn might need a little refresher course on this thing called the "First Amendment" of the "Constitution," because yesterday, Littlejohn threw attorney Danny Lampley into jail for five hours after Lampley declined to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the rest of the courtroom. According to local Mississippi blog NMissCommentor, the order of incarceration reads:
BE IT REMEMBERED, this date, the Court having ordered all present in the courtroom to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegience, [sic] and having found that Danny Lampley, Attorney at Law, failed and refused to do so, finds said Danny Lampley to be in criminal contempt of court.
Littlejohn initially ordered that Lampley could only "purge himself of said criminal contempt by complying with the order of this Court by standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in open court." But he decided to let Lampley out of jail without reciting the Pledge because "he was scheduled to represent a client in the courtroom."
Lampley, who had risen in the courtroom but did not say the words to the Pledge, insists that he's not trying to cause trouble or pick a fight with Littlejohn.
Simply put, the attorney said he and the judge have a "different point of view" about things, like loyalty oaths and the pledge.
"I have a lot of respect for him," Lampley said, "I'm just not going to back off on this."
"It's a problem, but it's for the judge and me to work out." ....
"I don't have to say it because I'm an American," he said about the 31-word pledge.
It's paradoxical, but true: Nothing is more American than the freedom to choose not to pledge allegiance to America.
But Lampley is wrong if he thinks that this is something for the judge and him to work out by themselves. An army of furious ACLU lawyers, liberal bloggers, and MSNBC anchors is most certainly already preparing an effort to disrobe Judge Littlejohn, and not in the sexy way.