Black Attorney to Fight Confederate-Themed Flag in US Supreme Court

By the Associated Press,

JACKSON, Miss (AP) — A Black Mississippi citizen is taking his case  against the state’s Confederate-themed flag  to the U. S. Supreme Court….

A Mississippi state flag is unfurled by Sons of Confederate Veterans and other groups on the grounds of the state Capitol in Jackson , Mississippi. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Attorneys for Carlos Moore said lower courts were wrong to reject  his argument that the flag is a symbol of white supremacy that harms him and his young  daughter by violating the Constitution’s guarantee  of equal protection to all citizens….

That under the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against Moore, “a city  could adopt ‘White Supremacy Forever’ as its official motto; or a county could incorporate an image of white hooded figures and a noose hanging from a tree into its county seal; or a state could incorporate  a Nazi swastika, as an endorsement of Aryan/white supremacy, in its state flag .”

Mississippi’s is the last state flag to feature the Confederate battle emblem. Critics say the symbol is racist. Supporters say it represents history .

Mississippi has used the flag  since 1894….

However, several cities and towns and all eight of the state’s public universities have stopped flying the flag amid concerns that it is offensive  in a state where 38 percent of the population is Black. Many took action  after the June 2015 massacre of nine Black worshippers at a church in Charleston, S.C., by an avowed white supremacist who posed with the Confederate battle  flag  in photos posted online…

The lawsuit Moore filed in February 2016 says the Mississippi flag  is “state-sanctioned hate speech,” and seeks to have  it declared an unconstitutional relic of slavery.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves dismissed it in September without ruling on the merits, saying Moore lacked legal standing to sue because he failed to show the emblem caused an identifiable legal  injury.

But despite ruling against Moore, Reeves devoted nine pages of his decision  to historical context, noting the racial terror intended to maintain  segregation and white supremacy in the Deep South in the years leading up to Mississippi’s adoption of the flag  with the Confederate emblem….

Moore, himself an attorney, is now asking the Supreme Court to send the case back to Reeves’ federal courtroom for a full trial on the merits of his arguments. Ultimately, Moore wants the Confederate symbol removed from the flag.

“While acknowledging that the Establishment Clause prohibits a state  from expressing the view  that one religion  is superior to, or preferred over, others, the court  of appeals reached the remarkable  and unwarranted  conclusion  that the Equal Protection Clause does not similarly prohibit a state from expressing the view  that one race is superior to, or preferred over, another, ” wrote Michael Scott and Kristen Ashe, who represents Moore..

It will be  October, at the earliest, before the Supreme Court will say  whether it will take the case….

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said if the flag design is to be reconsidered, it should be done in another statewide election. Legislators filed several bills in 2016 and this year, to either change  the flag or financially punish  universities that refuse to fly it. All failed because leaders said they couldn’t reach  consensus.

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