‘That’s all you are, with your yellow fringe’

April 17, 2014

From State v. Mee (N.C. Ct. App. Apr. 15, 2014):

What I’m saying, anyway, you can sit there … Mr. Administrator. Because since 1789, there’s been no Judges. You’re just an administrator of the court anyway. That’s all you are, with your yellow fringe…. My First Amendment right has been violated. My Eighth Amendment right and Fourteenth[.]

For those who haven’t run across this before, the theory — raised in a surprising number of cases — is that placing a yellow fringe on an American flag in a courtroom strips the court of jurisdiction. Whatever its proponents might think of this theory, let me just tell you that it does not work in American courts.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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