Judge recognizes ‘redneck’s’ 1st Amendment right
A self-described "redneck" school bus driver in Oregon has won his first round in court in a case involving his right to display a Confederate flag.
Kenneth Webber was fired from the Jackson County School District when he failed to comply with the superintendent’s complaint and remove from his truck a Confederate flag that reads "redneck." His attorney, John Whitehead of the The Rutherford Institute, says this is all about free speech.
"That is the key to the case," he declares. "The Constitution kicks in when a government official in any way violates First Amendment principles or constitutional principles here. If the superintendent actually ordered that, then it would mean that there is a First Amendment issue."
Even though the official disagrees with Webber’s views, Whitehead says it is important to respect the First Amendment.
"There are supposedly sections across the country where people are proud to be rednecks," the attorney notes. "They are not racist or anything, but they believe in the Confederate flag and all that. Again, these are not values I share, but over the years I’ve litigated a lot of cases of people that I don’t agree with, and I believe you have a right to speak about it."
In his decision, Judge Mark Clarke states, "The display of a flag is an act of symbolic expression protected under the First Amendment."