Trump wants Congress to pass a law so people who burn the American flag will ‘go to jail for 1 year’

Business Insider

In the 1989 case Texas v. Johnson, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the act of burning an American flag is constitutionally-protected free speech under the First Amendment.

The petitioner in the case, Gregory Lee Johnson, was prosecuted and convicted for violating Texas’ law against flag desecration when he burned a flag outside Dallas City Hall in protest of former President Ronald Reagan.

After a Texas appeals court overturned his conviction, the state of Texas appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled in Johnson’s favor.

In a separate 1990 decision, the Supreme Court also ruled that federal legislation criminalizing flag burning a crime violates the constitution. In United States v. Eichman, the Court struck down the 1989 Flag Protection Act, which made burning or destroying an American flag a federal crime.


Trump calls for Supreme Court to reconsider flag burning laws


Back in 1989, the court divided 5-4 on the issue holding that a demonstrators’ conviction for flag desecration was inconsistent with the First Amendment. The case concerned a political demonstration during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.

The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whom Trump has repeatedly praised, sided with the majority that ruled, “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”


Trump throws support behind ‘no brainer’ measure to ban burning of American flag

The Hill

President Trump tweeted his support for a “new effort to ban burning the American flag,” a protected form of speech.


NEFAC troubled by Trump tweet on flag burning, ‘dangerous misunderstanding’ of First Amendment

New England First Amendment Coalition

The New England First Amendment Coalition is deeply troubled by President-Elect Donald Trump’s recent statement calling for the imprisonment or loss of citizenship of those who burn the American flag. While Trump’s comments may reflect the feelings of many citizens, they perpetuate a dangerous misunderstanding …


Ignoring Supreme Court, Trump wants ‘consequences’ for flag burning

The Boston Globe

Donald Trump said punishments for burning the flag, which the court has ruled is protected speech, should perhaps include loss of citizenship or a year in jail.