Danny Lampley was jailed by Chancery Court Judge Littlejohn in Tupelo for failing to recite the pledge of allegiance in open court earlier this week. Danny was one of the local lawyers who represented the plaintiff in the Pontotoc school prayer case years ago, working with the ACLU and People for the American Way.
The order incarcerating him provides:
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.
The order states that for this, Danny Lampley “is hereby ordered to be incaraerated in that Lee County jail.” The order continues:
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.
Here’s a copy of Lampley contempt order.
For what it is worth, the judge is clearly wrong here. The Constitution protects freedom of speech, which means (in part) that the government (here, the court) cannot order you to give an oath or pledge. That is forced speech.
Oh, this happened in Mississippi. Of course.