I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


Judge Littlejohn and the pledge make the NY Times

In the National Briefing section of the (print) NY Times, this appeared today:

A judge will be reprimanded and fined $100 for jailing a lawyer who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in his courtroom. The State Supreme Court affirmed the recommendation from the Commission on Judicial Performance against Chancellor Talmadge Littlejohn of […]

Judge Littlejohn given “muzzles” award by Jefferson First Amendment Center

Every year around April 13th (Thomas Jefferson’s birthday), the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of the First Amendment in Charlottesville, Virginia gives “Jefferson Muzzles” award to call “attention to those who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost.’”  This year […]

Judge Littlejohn and the Judicial Reasoning of the Queen of Hearts

The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said, without even looking round.

The quote is Lewis Carroll.

I was ambivalent about what should be done about the Judicial Performance Commission complaint about Judge Littlejohn wrongfully jailing Danny Lampley for refusing to say […]

Reprimand recommended for Judge Littlejohn for jailing Danny Lampley over the pledge.

The Judicial Performance Commission has found that Judge Littlejohn violated Danny Lampley’s First Amendment rights by incarcerating him for refusing to say the pledge of allegiance, and has recommended to the Mississippi Supreme Court that Judge Littlejohn be given a public reprimand and fined $100 for violating Lampley’s rights.

The decision as to sanction is […]

Daily Journal Online Poll About Whether Judge Littlejohn Was Right

Embodying the on-the-one-hand/one-the-other-hand school of journalism, the Daily Journal writes that Danny Lampley’s decision to reject a mandatory loyalty oath was “baffling,” while Judge Little John was “wrong” to jail him for doing so, the Daily Journal also asks readers to vote on whether Judge Littlejohn was right.

When I cast my vote, only […]

The Commercial Appeal editorializes: “The Judge Was In Contempt”

The Commercial Appeal’s editorial Saturday was about the jailing of lawyer Danny Lampley for failing to recite the pledge of allegiance:

Courtrooms are supposed to be impartial sanctums where justice is dispensed and disputes are settled.

They are not a place where the patriotism of a plaintiff, defendant or attorney should be tested before […]

Danny Lampley and the Sword of Damocles

I’ve got the order now on which Judge Littlejohn released Danny Lampley yesterday after first jailing him for refusing to say the pledge of allegiance.

It would make me nervous to be the subject of this order; being peremptorily jailed is not the kind of thing I’d want hanging out there “in abeyance.”


Old Times There are Not Forgotten: Judge Littlejohn as prosecutor

The incarceration of Danny Lampley over compelled speech was not Judge Littlejohn’s first trip over the First Amendment.  A reader sent in a Fifth Circuit opinion in Ealy v. Littlejohn, 569 F.2d 219 (5th Cir. 1978), by Judge John R. Brown, who was one of the Fifth Circuit’s Unlikely Heroes written about by Jack Bass:


Lawyer Jailed by Chancellor for Failing to Recite Pledge of Allegiance

Danny Lampley (who clerked for me in law school), was jailed by Chancery Court Judge Littlejohn in Tupelo for failing to recite the pledge of allegiance in open court today.  Danny was one of the local lawyers who represented the plaintiff in the Pontotoc school prayer case years ago, working with the ACLU […]