• Nature v. patriotism

    Date: 07.27.09 | by Judge Tom.

    It was during the 7th inning stretch at Yankee Stadium on a hot August day in 2008. As was the custom since Sept. 11, 2001, “God Bless America” was played. A little known rule prohibited movement in the stands by anyone until the song ended.

    29-year-old Bradford Campeau-Laurion left his seat to go to the restroom. He was stopped by a New York City police officer and told to stay put until the song was over. When Bradford objected he was immediately ejected from the stadium. Two officers pinned his arms behind his back and “shoved me out the front gate.”

    Bradford filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming a violation of his right to free speech. Requiring him to stand and not move while a patriotic song is playing violates the Constitution, the lawsuit alleged. Although not exactly ‘politically correct,’ a person may not be forced to conform to customs or rituals in a public setting.

    In July, 2009, the parties reached an agreement whereby the City of New York would pay Bradford $10,000 and his legal fees of $12,000. The Yankees agreed that there was no rule restricting fans from moving about the stadium at any time they chose.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


    2 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • kellyann
      Fri, 20 Nov 2009 at 07:51

      wow that is ridiclious! I have noticed how patriotism is a little overboard in this country. Saying the pledge of allegiance every morning at public school is kinda strange, but kicking somebody out of a ballgame for having to go to the bathroom while the star-spangled banner is on… really people?!? We can be patriotic without wetting our pants thank-you-very-much! Good for them, for that is just plain ridiclious and does infringe on his rights, for never does it say that we have to be brainwashed-type whenever the national anthem is played, please people, let’s be rational!

    • kellyann
      Fri, 20 Nov 2009 at 07:52

      or if they are playing some othe rpatriotic song… even more ridiclious! wow…

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>