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Give thanks or go to jail

It was all over the news in October --  Mississippi Chancery Judge Talmadge Littlejohn jailed an attorney who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in his courtroom. I was nothing short of baffled to hear that an officer of the court in his 70s -- who spent his long career as a state lawmaker, prosecutor and judge -- could get the Constitution so completely and appallingly wrong. Even someone with the most basic understanding of the First Amendment should realize that compulsory unification of opinion is unconstitutional. To make matters worse, Littlejohn stubbornly stuck to his guns, requiring all in his courtroom to again recite the pledge just one day after the national uproar over his treatment of lawyer Danny Lampley. The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance last week recommended to the state Supreme Court that Littlejohn be publicly reprimanded and pay $100 in court costs for jailing Lampley, according to the Clarion Ledger.

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