Senate Rejects Flag Desecration Amendment
Americans remain free to engage in symbolic speech that most of us vehemently dislike.
A constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration died in a Senate cliffhanger Tuesday, a single vote short of the support needed to send it to the states for ratification and four months before voters elect a new Congress. The 66-34 tally in favor of the amendment was one less than the two-thirds required. The House surpassed that threshold last year, 286-130.
President Bush, who supports the amendment, called the failed vote unfortunate and commended Republicans and Democrats who voted to move the ratification process forward. In a statement, Bush said he continued to believe that “the American people deserve the opportunity to express their views on this important issue.”
The proposed amendment, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, read: “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”
This is precisely why the Framers made amending the Constitution very, very difficult.