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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Dumbest Law Ever

According to the USA Today, the Senate is currently only one vote shy of the 67 votes needed to pass the "Flag Desecration Amendment." If so, I'm convinced the amendment will go down in history as the dumbest law ever written.

As an initial matter, it's hard to think of anything more un-American than banning a purely symbolic act. It would be the first time we've ever amended our Constitution to curtail the Bill of Rights. We would be carving out a bizarre exception to our most celebrated right, the right to freedom of speech. The new rule would be, in essence, you can say anything you want (but you can't say that).
...Apparently most Americans are in the same boat because, according to one study, there were only 45 reported flag burning incidents in the first 200 years of the republic (h/t Think Progress). That means there are probably more historical incidents of witch-burning than flag-burning. Maybe we should start debating the Witch Protection Amendment.
...It seems likely, therefore, that the primary consequence of this amendment will be to dramatically increase the level of flag burning in this country.

If you doubt this is true, just ask Professor Robert Goldstein, who's an expert on the subject. This Senate Report quotes Goldstein as saying: "We've had more than twice as many flag burnings since this became a front page issue in 1989 than in the entire history of the American republic."
read it all here...
Unclaimed Territory - y Glenn Greenwald: The Dumbest Law Ever


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