Senate Begins Debate on Flag Burning Amendment
The Senate began debate on the flag-burning Amendment yesterday. It's within a vote or two of passing and already has passed in the House. If it passes by a 2/3 vote in the Senate, it must be ratified by 38 states during the next seven years and then will become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Constitution is not a rough draft. We don't need to amend it, particularly for something that would serve as precedent for further restrictions on our First Amendment rights.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) differed. "The danger of this amendment is that it would strike at the values the flag represents and the rights that have made this nation a vibrant democratic republic in which we have enjoyed freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and freedom to think as individuals," he said.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said the GOP is pushing the amendment to fire up its base this fall. "The real issue isn't the protection of the American flag," he said. "It's the protection of the Republican majority."
Debate is expected to last most of the week. As for the text of the Amendment, the Washington Post reports:
The proposed amendment, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, reads: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
The list of co-sponsors on Thomas, includes Democrats Diane Feinstein and Ken Salazar.
It's not too late to take action and fight for the flag. Tell your Senators to:
- Please vote "no" on the Flag Amendment. This amendment violates every principle the flag represents.
- The Flag Amendment would, for the first time ever, restrict freedoms granted to us by the Bill of Rights, setting a dangerous precedent that puts all of our liberties at risk.
- A free country can stay free only if citizens have the right to voice their opinions. The flag amendment is the first step in curtailing that right.
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