JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Missouri’s attorney general praised the St. Francois County Court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against a judge who begins his work day by asking people in his court to join him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Judge Kenneth Pratte begins each day in his courtroom by inviting everyone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Attorney General Chris Koster said. Pratte faces the flag and leads the courtroom in reciting the pledge.
Robert Stamm Sr. and Robert Stamm Jr. sued Pratte, claiming he violated their First Amendment rights to free speech and religion. Koster’s office defended Pratte and said the court’s decision to dismiss protect citizens’ rights.
“The court’s decision to dismiss this case protects the rights of our judiciary and our citizens to express their patriotism to our country,” Koster said in a statement. “The decision also leaves open the opportunity for everyone in the courtroom to be reminded of the right to ‘liberty and justice for all.'”