Supreme Court axes suit over Mississippi Confederate emblem

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from an African-American attorney who called the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag "an official endorsement of white supremacy."

Posted: Nov 28, 2017 8:19 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from an African-American attorney who called the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag "an official endorsement of white supremacy."

The justices did not comment as they ended a lawsuit by lawyer Carlos Moore that sought to have the flag declared an unconstitutional relic of slavery.

Mississippi has used the same flag since 1894. It's the last state banner featuring the Confederate symbol, a red field topped by a blue tilted cross dotted by 13 white stars. Critics say the symbol is racist. Supporters say it represents history.

Moore said Monday that he has received five death threats because of the lawsuit and three death threats because he removed the Mississippi flag from his courtroom after he became a Clarksdale city judge. He said he's disappointed but not surprised that the justices chose not to consider the case.

"We always knew it was a long shot," Moore told The Associated Press.

He said he believes the flag hurts the economy in Mississippi, a state with a 38 percent black population.

"We're hopeful that one day the flag will come down," Moore said. "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."

Moore's lawsuit argued, in part, that the flag is an oppressive symbol that his daughter, who's now 7, should not have to face in her public school.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has called Moore's lawsuit "frivolous." Bryant has said repeatedly that if the flag design is to be reconsidered, it should be done by a statewide vote as it was more than 16 years ago.

In an April 2001 referendum, Mississippi residents voted to keep the flag. But the banner and other Confederate symbols have come under increased scrutiny since 2015, when nine black worshippers were shot to death in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. A white man who had posed in photos glorifying the rebel flag was sentenced to death in the fatal shootings, which police contend were racially motivated.

Several cities and towns and all eight of Mississippi's public universities have stopped flying the state flag amid concerns that it is offensive. Many pulled the flag from display after the Charleston church massacre.

Moore filed his lawsuit in February 2016. A federal district judge and an appeals court ruled against him, but his attorneys asked the Supreme Court in June to consider the case during the term that began in October. The court accepts a fraction of cases on appeal.

In written arguments filed to the Supreme Court on Oct. 18, attorneys for the governor wrote of Moore: "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." But the state attorneys said a lawsuit must show an "allegation of discriminatory treatment," and Moore failed to do that.

Edward Young, an 85-year-old Mississippi resident who is white, said Monday in the coastal city of Bay St. Louis that the Supreme Court decision to stop the flag lawsuit was "sensible."

"That flag has been flying over this land for a long time, so why would they want to remove it?" Young said. "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."

Edgar Trice, a 48-year-old African-American resident of Mississippi, said 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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93087

Reported Deaths: 2809
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6956155
DeSoto539355
Harrison372772
Jackson337867
Madison320086
Rankin318875
Lee258567
Jones239978
Forrest238270
Washington217471
Lafayette207239
Lauderdale1994124
Bolivar179065
Oktibbeha174750
Lamar162134
Neshoba1534103
Panola144027
Sunflower141144
Lowndes139857
Warren138050
Leflore136280
Pontotoc122516
Pike120948
Monroe118365
Scott116125
Copiah115933
Coahoma112327
Holmes109158
Marshall107515
Lincoln106253
Grenada105335
Yazoo103629
Simpson101243
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91736
Wayne87421
Pearl River86250
Marion84133
Prentiss80817
Covington80622
Alcorn76811
Newton75623
Itawamba75221
Tallahatchie74918
George74413
Winston72319
Tishomingo65737
Chickasaw65224
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57117
Hancock56121
Jasper54915
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52114
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45420
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41614
Perry40617
Humphreys37315
Quitman3735
Stone35011
Greene34317
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Amite31210
Carroll31212
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2399
Benton2181
Franklin1893
Choctaw1785
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18911337
Mobile13039289
Montgomery8628173
Madison750775
Tuscaloosa7180114
Lee570559
Shelby564550
Baldwin504749
Marshall382143
Etowah333447
Calhoun332039
Morgan318126
Houston269922
Elmore251947
DeKalb234619
St. Clair221335
Walker220780
Talladega205026
Limestone197319
Cullman183017
Franklin174128
Dallas173626
Russell17112
Autauga167324
Lauderdale164133
Colbert159326
Escambia155725
Blount154214
Jackson149411
Chilton147127
Dale132743
Covington130227
Coffee12708
Pike11519
Tallapoosa113183
Chambers112342
Clarke104917
Marion93728
Butler90838
Barbour8307
Marengo69919
Winston69912
Lowndes64527
Pickens63114
Bibb62810
Hale61228
Randolph60712
Bullock58514
Lawrence58220
Monroe5758
Geneva5634
Cherokee55516
Washington54413
Perry5376
Clay5367
Wilcox53011
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52231
Macon47620
Henry4674
Fayette4189
Sumter41819
Lamar3452
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3206
Greene30015
Coosa1613
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