Mississippi Chancery Judge Talmadge Littlejohn means it when he asks everyone to stand and say the pledge of allegiance. When attorney Danny Lampley of Oxford stood but did not recite, Littlejohn threw him in jail.
Littlejohn was just honored by the Mississippi bar for 50 years in public service.
Lampley was jailed from 9:40 a.m. and released about 2:30 p.m. on the judge’s orders. However, the reported order below says that Lampley would not be released until he recited the pledge for the judge.
The contempt sanction is, in my view, both injudicious and unconstitutional. Requiring an attorney to recite the pledge is a violation of his free speech rights. There is no question that an attorney must comply with court orders and that a judge is given considerable leeway in running his courtroom. However, that does not include monitoring pledge recitals.
Here is the order, which I found on The Agitator:
BE IT REMEMBERED, this date, the Court having ordered all present in the courtroom to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegience, 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.
IT IS FURTHER ORDED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED, that Danny Lampley shall 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.
Source: Clarion Ledger