Okay, so now that the anti-flag-burning amendment has failed (by only a single vote? WTF?), could someone convince the senate to start working on things that really matter, and quit getting distracted by this election-year pandering? It’s not like this is a new debate. This has been settled for a decade!
“The First Amendment never needs defending when it comes to popular speech,” Leahy said. “It’s when it comes to unpopular speech that it needs defending.”
[..]The Texas v. Johnson case came to the court five years after Gregory Lee Johnson burned a flag at City Hall during a political demonstration at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.
Johnson was convicted of violating state law, sentenced to a year in prison and fined $2,000. The Supreme Court ruled his arrest was unconstitutional.
Writing for the majority, Justice William Brennan stated, “Johnson was not, we add, prosecuted for the expression of just any idea; he was prosecuted for his expression of dissatisfaction with the policies of this country, expression situated at the core of our First Amendment values.”
Kudos to the Republican senators who voted against this amendment, no matter what their reasons. And big time boos to all the Democrats who voted for this. Show some spine, Senators!
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