Trump really, really hates the First Amendment

His latest umbrage outrage, revealed in a tweet [of course]:

The Washington Post reports:

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened loss of citizenship or jail for those who burn the American flag, saying such protests — which the Supreme Court has declared to be free speech — should carry “consequences.”

Flag burning was ruled to be constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment in a 1990 Supreme Court case, United States v. Eichman, that struck down a law seeking to prevent its desecration. Moreover, a 1958 Supreme Court decision rejected the practice of stripping U.S. citizenship as a form of criminal punishment.


Trump’s latest interest in curbing First Amendment protections follows several other actions related to free speech, including his blacklisting of reporters who fell out of favor with his campaign and a suggestion that he would “open up” libel laws to make it easier to sue the news media.

Even better, a Washington Post editorial cartoonist perfectly captured the character revealed by his ornamental outrage:

Ann Telnaes: Trump’s new hat reflects his commitment to the First Amendment


And flags? Really?

Flags are symbols, and only that. The flag flying when we were born had 48 stars, followed soon by a version with 49, then the current fifty-starred version.

Much more precious than any piece of fabric is a human life, and locking or deporting someone for expressing opinion — and that’s what flag-burning is — is antithetical to the First Amendment.

Once you criminalize the expression of opinion, the game is up and totalitarianism has gained a solid foothold.

But, hey, what is Donald except a man who thinks that only his opinions matter?

An old friend used to keep a flag atop the ceramic logs in his gas fireplace in the late 1980s, ready for ignition had the Supreme Court upheld laws criminalizing flags. The court ruled otherwise, and the flag was never burned.

Right on!


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