Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One Senator Short on Flag Burning Amendment

The Supreme Court, in 1989, decided that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment. They declared in their decision it is a free speech issue. This took the issue out of the hands of states (and citizens of said states) and made it a federal issue that could only be trumped with a constitutional amendment. States were left with using local laws about starting a fire without a permit or anti-mischief laws to prosecute flag burning.

Yesterday (27Jun06)the senate voted 66-to-34 which was one vote short of the 67 required to send it to the states for potential ratification as the 28th Amendment.

Those who voted against it do not trust the people of the United States to make the decision they (the senators) wanted. "Protecting the peoples free speech", they say. On the other hand they did not protect the peoples right to make decisions as a nation of states. They worked against that...

Concerning Flag Burning and free speech I say the following:

prying1 sez:

I keep hearing flag burning is a free speech issue.

How many words must be spoken, expressed or written to burn a flag?

ans: None.

When bystanders see the flag burned what exactly does it tell them? Doesn't speech convey specific information, thoughts and ideas? What specific speech is conveyed through a piece of cloth burning?

ans: Nothing, Yes, None.

It has nothing to do with "speech". It is an "action" we are really talking about not speech. I consider it to be speech when a soapbox is dragged out, someone climbs upon it and starts speaking. Even if they have a disability and must use posters and sign language. Ideas are put forth.

As a form of protest flag burning is below the bottom rung of telling people what you believe. That is because it is not speech and says nothing specific.

Had this passed it would have gone to the states to ratify it. The states would then let it's citizens decide on a state by state basis. When enough states said yes or no then it would go forward or stop.

So why didn't the powers that be allow the people to decide? There is where our free speech is being suppressed.


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