Mississippi Supreme Court Rejects Judge's Appeal To Declare State Flag Unconstitutional
Moore reportedly failed to show an “allegation of discriminatory treatment.”
November 28, 2017 at 7:52 pm
A few months ago, a Mississippi judge decided to remove the state's flag from his courtroom because of it contains the Confederate flag.
That judge was Carlos Moore, who didn't just look to make a change in his courtroom, but to use the courts to get rid of the Rebel relic once and for all.
According to the Associated Press, Moore filed a lawsuit that called the flag an unconstitutional “official endorsement of white supremacy” in February 2016. The judge lost that suit, but filed an appeal with the state's Supreme Court.
This week, the Supreme Court rejected Moore's appeal.
“We always knew it was a long shot,” said Moore, who said he has received several death threats because of his lawsuit and his prior decision to remove the flag from his courtroom.
Moore's case centered on the idea that the flag is an oppressive symbol. In his argument, the judge used the example of his daughter, and said that no black child should be forced to face and honor the flag of a foreign country that sought to keep them enslaved.
Moore also said the state's firm refusal to change the flag is hurting its economy and is a slap in the face to the 38 percent of its citizens who are black.
Republican Governor Phil Bryant called Moore's lawsuit "frivolous" and said that any amendments to the flag's design should be decided by a statewide vote.
The issue did go up for a vote back in 2001; obviously voters decided to keep the flag. However, many in Mississippi believe it is time to revisit the issue.
Already, no public university in Mississippi flies the flag, and several of the state's cities have removed the flag from public property. After Roof's massacre and the events in Charlottesville, activists say voters would vote differently should a referendum be held now.
Still, opinions are mixed about the flag.
The AP talked to an 85-year-old white male Mississipian, Edward Young, who said, “That flag has been flying over this land for a long time, so why would they want to remove it? We don’t have any race riots like they do elsewhere. We get along very well with people here, no matter what color your skin is.”
On the other hand, Edgar Trice, a 48-year-old black Mississippian, said that he understand and supports Moore's suit because he is “totally against” the state flag.
“It’s the Confederate battle flag, and what were they fighting for?” Trice said. “Slavery. So, I’m against that.”
Lawyers for the governor wrote in their remarks to the Supreme Court, “All in all, petitioner alleges that he personally and deeply is offended by Mississippi’s state flag — and the sincerity of those beliefs is not doubted.”
Moore's personal feelings weren't enough, however; the court ruled that Moore had to show an “allegation of discriminatory treatment,” and that the judge's case didn't provide that.
“We’re hopeful that one day the flag will come down,” said Moore. “It seems that the public sentiment continues to change, and I am confident that it will come down in my lifetime and definitely in my daughter’s.”