Judge Talmadge Littlejohn asked everyone in his courtroom to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance on Wednesday. A civil rights attorney refused.
Does the judge have the legal right to order the Pledge said and to order Attorney Daniel Lampley to jail with criminal contempt? In a word, yes. The legal definition of chancery is a court that can order acts performed, so technically, Judge Littlejohn can.
Respect for our Flag and for our National Anthem is not mandated or constitutionalized. It is traditional. You can check out Flag Etiquette here. It is common practice and patriotic. Americans love the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, we are mostly patriotic. Why wouldn't someone say the pledge of allegiance?
If he is a Jehovah Witness, then he is not allowed to salute the flag or say the pledge. It is what they believe. Does a judge's order win out over religious belief? How sad that this question should even come up.
No, I do not know this attorney's religious belief. I just happened to know one reason why a person would not stand during the National Anthem, salute the flag or say the pledge of allegiance. Would I go to jail if a judge ordered me to renounce Jesus? You betcha, I would. I would die for my beliefs. As it so happens, a lot of soldiers and sailors have died just so anyone could worship as their conscience leads them to worship. If that happens to be Jehovah Witness, then so be it, although I pray that all Americans would come to know Jesus Christ as their savior and LORD. You just cannot legislate religious belief.