Last modified: 2015-05-09 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | burning |
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The intent of the amendment is to override the existing free speech protections when it comes to protecting the flag, but the way it's worded does leave some doubt as to how effective it would be in achieving that objective. The text says simply "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
But the Constitution has provisions allowing Congress to legislate in any number of areas. It can regulate interstate commerce, for example. Yet that doesn't mean it can pass a law under the guise of regulating interstate commerce that has the effect of restricting freedom of speech or the press or religion. So it would be interesting to see what the courts would have to say about laws passed under this new amendment, assuming it is ever adopted.
It's jumping the gun a little to focus at this point on state ratifications; the proposed amendment still has to pass the Senate before it goes to the states.
Joe McMillan, 23 June 2005