Andrea Burton was removed from court, arrested, and sentenced to a week in jail for exercising First Amendment rights. Here are the details below.
On Friday, in Youngstown, Ohio, Andrea Burton appeared in court with a client. However, rather than Burton’s client catching the judge’s heat, Andrea found herself being criticized because of her Black Lives Matter pin.
According to New York Daily News, Judge Robert Milich requested several times for Attorney Andrea Burton to remove her Black Lives Matter attire.
However, Andrea refused — stating that she had a clear understanding of her First Amendment rights and was applying them.
At one point, the Ohio judge requested Andrea to join him in his chambers. There, privately, he continued to ask her to remove the Black Lives Matter pin within the courtroom. Still, Burton refused.
According to the judge, a Supreme Court ruling allows him to prohibit political symbols from his courtroom at his discretion.
However, Andrea Burton mentioned that her First Amendment right overruled the Supreme Case law as well as Judge Milich’s preference. Attorney Andrea says that she didn’t want to remain indifferent and “neutral to injustice.”
People seem very confused about the First Amendment, so here it is. Only about what government can't do. pic.twitter.com/CUYSaut3Lr
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) July 20, 2016
“To remain neutral becomes an accomplice to oppression,” Andrea Burton mentions. “It’s an act of civil disobedience. I understand that. I’m not anti-police, I work with law enforcement, and I hold them in the highest regard, and just to say for the record I do believe all lives matter. But at this point they don’t all matter equally, and that’s the problem in the justice system.”
After Andrea’s arrest, she was later released until her appeal appearance. However, according to the source, the NAACP is monitoring the situation as well and is putting together a plan of action.
The source notes that judges, essentially, are granted a vast spectrum of what they allow and disallow within the courtroom per personal preference.
“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,” elaborates the judge.
And, according to the judge, Black Lives Matter is a political statement.
Is it “political” or “civil”? Is it dealing with “politics” or “human equality”? If equality and human equity — in the sense that all is fair, not just equal — are considered “campaign tools,” this only shows further that something is wrong with America’s justice system. Does it not?
Although the judge has discretion over what’s allowed in his courtroom, how is it that he has preferential discretion on whether or not to allow use of the First Amendment in the court as well? How is that “just,” according to the Constitution.
Unless, as rumor has it, the Constitution is actually suspended?
In his quote, was Milich indirectly saying that flags are allowed in his courtroom? Wouldn’t it be illogical to allow a “flag” and not allow a clothing button?
How is the Confederate flag not a political statement? How is that okay, but “Black Lives Matter” gets you thrown in jail?
Yet, even in the wake of the recent shooting in North Miami by Officer Jonathan Aledda, “Blue Lives Matter” gets you praised even though “bad cops” continue to abuse their given powers?
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) July 23, 2016
PBS once asked if the government possibly has “too much power.” Most of the commenters agreed that it does, indeed, have too much power and is “overreaching.”
And it’s easy to overreach when such powers go unchecked — or even worse, when lobbyist dollars make the rules that become “legal.”
Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s morally right, correct? They aren’t the same thing.
— EqualJustice (@Opp4Justice) July 26, 2016
What are your thoughts regarding Andrea Burton and the Black Lives Matter situation? Do you believe her First Amendment rights were violated? Feel free to share your comments in the section below.
[Photos by Steven Senne/AP Images and Shutterstock]