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Vegas Lawyer Removes ‘Black Lives’ Pin for Court

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas defense attorney has agreed to remove a “Black Lives Matter” pin from her blouse after a Nevada state court judge held firm and said he wouldn’t allow displays of political viewpoints during proceedings in his courtroom.

Deputy Public Defender Erika Ballou and her boss, Phil Kohn, acknowledged Thursday that case law, including federal appeals court rulings, gives judges broad discretion in requiring and enforcing courtroom decorum.

Ballou was in court to represent a white client at a sentencing hearing in a domestic violence case before Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon.

Herndon says he asks everyone to leave political and opinion protests at the courtroom door.

Ballou, who is black, refused Tuesday when Herndon asked her to remove the pin or to remain outside the courtroom. She cast it as a stand for free speech, due process and civil rights.

That made her a new voice of protest in a national debate over police brutality and race relations.

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