Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My surreal moment of the day

I was down in Edna, Texas this morning in the 24th Judicial District Court on an aggravated assault/burglary case. Judge Skipper Koetter (thanks for the spelling help, Mark) walked into the courtroom, got up behind the bench and (I'm am so not kidding) asked everyone in attendance to bow their heads while he said a prayer.

So much for the separation of church and state in South Texas.

After I commented to the attorney sitting next to me that I had never seen anything quite like that, he said the judge used to make everyone recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ain't no place like Jackson County.


Mark Bennett said...

I had Skipper Koetter as a visitng judge on a capital case in Victoria; he was much better than the judge he was sitting in for.

There's a judge in MoCo who has everyone in the courtroom recite not only the Pledge of Allegiance, but also the Texas Flag Pledge every morning at the beginning of proceedings:

"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."

So we're supposed to swear loyalty to the opposing party in a criminal case. Awkward!

Rage Judicata said...

Judge Bradshaw-Hull in County Civil Court No. 3, (and the the 80th District Court after the commissioners ran her off for her rulings in condemnation cases) used to do both the US and Texas pledges every day--until she was ousted in the last election. Judge Cagle in Civil No. 1 still does it during every voir dire.

Anonymous said...

Good posts. You will enjoy this web page about complaints and lawsuits along those lines.

The Judges are probably unaware that the Pledge was the origin of the stiff-arm salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party.