A lawyer who refused to lose a Black Lives Matter pin while in court may end up in jail after she refused to remove it and was cited for contempt of court.
According to WKBN-TV in Youngstown, Ohio, attorney Andrea Burton was removed from a Youngstown courtroom by Municipal Court Judge Robert Milich last week after refusing to take off a pin supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
She was found in contempt of court and sentenced to five days in jail, although the sentence is on hold pending an appeal. She’ll be allowed to stay out of jail so long as no other politically motivated pins or other statements show up on her clothing in the courtroom.
Judge Milich said he wasn’t trying to interject his opinions, but rather to keep opinions from seeping into the courtroom and having inappropriate influence.
“A judge doesn’t support either side,” he said. “A judge is objective and tries to make sure everyone has an opportunity to have a fair hearing, and it was a situation where it was just in violation of the law.”
Judge Milich referred to a Supreme Court case that decided that judges essentially have carte blanche about allowing political statements in their courtrooms.
“The judge has the right in any circumstance that they think that some issue or matter will be disruptive to the court or a distraction to the court, they can ask that individual to remove that object,” legal analyst Matt Mangino said.
Nonetheless, the NAACP plans to see if the judge’s ruling violates Burton’s constitutional rights (even though a quick look through case history would show that it doesn’t) and community activists are up in arms.
“No one wearing an American flag button, no one wearing a crucifix or a Star of David would be removed, so why this particular statement bothered him so much is bothersome,” community activist Kim Akins said.
Oh yeah — I see Christian and Jewish movements protesting police and law enforcement all the time. Judge Milich also saw the clear distinction.
“There’s a difference between a flag, a pin from your church or the Eagles and having a pin that’s on a political issue,” Milich said.
As a lawyer, Burton should have realized that the judge was well within his purview to ask her to remove the pin. She decided not to, and now is making a stink about constitutional rights that clearly weren’t violated.
I guarantee you, if most of us came in with an “All Lives Matter” pin, we’d have had it taken off at the judge’s request. Burton should have expected the same treatment.
(H/T Conservative Tribune)