Trump Proposes Harsh Punishment For American Flag Burners; Overlooks First Amendment Free Speech Protections

President-elect Donald Trump is back in full force tweeting controversial political views such as his latest proposal on Tuesday that flag burners of the American flag should be given a harsh punishment that includes loss of citizenship or a year in jail.

The right to burn the American flag is constitutionally protected under freedom of speech and is etched in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution which was upheld in the first federal Flag Protection Act of 1968 passed by Congress in reaction to the protest demonstrations of the Vietnam War that resulted in some flag burning.

Since the 1968 Flag Protection Act, 48 of 50 U.S. states adopted flag protection laws to protect the flag but their efforts were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1989 by a 5-4 vote in the case of Texas vs Johnson that invalidated restrictions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states.

Congress moved to overturn the Texas Vs Johnson decision but a year later in 1990 the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Texas Vs Johnson ruling in the United States Vs Eichman that declared flag burning was constitutionally protected free speech.

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John Schweitzer






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