As "chief trial counsel" for the Southern Legal Resource Center, flamboyant Kirk Lyons has made a name for himself as the legal champion of the neo-Confederate movement, a man dedicated to prosecuting so-called "heritage violations" against his beloved South.
There's only one hitch: Lyons has a habit of losing.
Last November, the long-time white supremacist attorney filed suit in Austin, Texas, on behalf of five people who said their civil rights were violated when they were told they couldn't carry their Confederate flags into a high-school football game.
Employees of Hays High School and the Hays County School District were named as defendants.
In February, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks harshly criticized the lawsuit, ordering the plaintiffs to either drop their claims within 21 days or face sanctions from the court.
The judge said in his order:
It would appear the plaintiffs have filed a complaint requesting a temporary injunction when they did not want one, obtained publicity because of the allegations, sued the wrong parties and in all probability have no constitutional cause of action against any party.
Undeterred by the embarrassing ruling, Lyons decided on March 1 not to drop the suit. The SLRC said recently that the fines imposed to that point had amounted to $9,173.
In April, Lyons lost another "heritage" case, this one on behalf of a Mobile, Ala., man arrested after he strode through a police line in order to carry a Confederate battle flag in that city's annual Veterans Day Parade. Lyons vowed to appeal Tim Meadows' $500 fine.
Lyons' misadventures appear to be taking a toll on the SLRC's finances. The groups' recent E-mail update ends with a desperate-sounding appeal: "SIMPLY PUT — WE ARE AT OUR FINANCIAL LIMIT."
In addition to the fines imposed in Texas, it reports, "We are $10,000 in the hole in our bank account and we have back income tax we owe the IRS!"
And then, for the third time, readers are reminded: "ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!"