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Flag Protection Amendment July 13, 2006

Posted by hamcoder in Congress, Government's role, Uncategorized, US Constitution.
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When I first thought about the proposed one-line amendment, my thinking was along these lines: Doesn’t Congress already have such power? After all, it has the power to declare what symbols the flag will contain and how they are arranged. If Congress wants to change the rules that pertain to the flag and if it wants to add penalties for breaking those rules, then Congress should have a Nike moment and “Just Do It!”. By the way, this links to the text of the amendment (H.J. RES. 10).

I was slow to realize that Congress has to be very careful about such a law because it may easily run afoul of the First Amendment, which covers free speech. Congress is quite limited when it tries to curtail our speech. We can’t shout “FIRE” in a theatre; we can’t tell lies about other people (libel & slander); but we can say just about anything else that pops into our brains. So Congress needs this amendment which says “We repeal part of the First Amendment”. With this weakening of the First Amendment, Congress can pass laws that say “Thou shalt not burn our flag.” Then it can make laws saying that you can’t desecrate or disrepect the President, Congress, or the govenment. Eventually Congress will repeal the First Amendment altogether. (If you can’t disparage the President, Congress, or the govenment, what would Leno and Letterman talk about?)’