The Corner

Flag Burning

Since readers keep asking me whether I agree with the editors and/or the GOP on the flag-burning amendment, I figured I’d tell you: No, I don’t. NR’s editorial is well-taken and I agree with much of its analysis. I think it should be perfectly legal to ban flag burning on the state and local level and I see nothing inherently scary in the desire to amend the Constitution to bar it. Indeed, I find liberal horror at the deeply democratic amendment process but love for deeply undemocratic judicial whims to be maddening. But as a political matter, I think the effort is proof of its own futility. Any respect for the flag that requires a constitutional amendment or congressional statute is respect in name only. Also, I think the editors’ arguments are too suffused with exasperation with the role of the Supreme Court rather than the actual merits of the amendment. I share their exasperation, but I think there are better avenues to act on it. To wit: Ponnuru for Scotus.

Update: From a reader:

great post and right on the money too! if politicos can figure out how to outlaw burning crosses w/o running afoul of the 1st amendment then surely they can figure it out in regards to the flag. just copy cross burning laws and change “cross” to “flag”. how hard was that?

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