Not needed

Flag-burning amendment: It would unnecessarily abridge Americans' First Amendment rights.

June 26, 1999

MEMBERS of the U.S. Senate who may be wavering on whether to vote for the proposed flag-burning amendment would be well advised to remember what that flag symbolizes.

Freedom of speech -- even objectionable and obnoxious expression, to be sure. So, to pass the amendment would be to agree to place limits on the First Amendment.

The flag also represents acceptance of certain other values. Among those is respect for a Constitution that has served this country well and, therefore, should not be amended any and every time there's a Supreme Court decision that's unpopular in some circles.

The Supreme Court, which has hardly been a hotbed of liberalism in recent years, has twice ruled that flag burning is protected political expression.

Given that incidents of desecration of the flag are exceedingly rare, why tinker with the Bill of Rights?

Pub Date: 6/26/99

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