Trump Wants Flag Burners to Lose Citizenship
But, uh, he supports the First Amendment
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2016 9:47 AM CST
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Donald Trump on Nov. 9 in New York.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – Donald Trump believes in free speech and that flag-burning should be illegal. In what the Washington Post is calling "Donald Trump v. the First Amendment, part five," the president-elect decried flag-burning in a tweet on Tuesday, noting those guilty of the practice should perhaps spend a year in jail or even lose their US citizenship. "Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences," Trump said. Though flag-burning remains controversial, the Supreme Court declared the practice to be a protected form of free speech in 1989 and 1990, reports CNN, which Trump bashed Monday night.

Even conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia—whom Trump has called "one of the best of all time"—believed flag burning should be protected based on a "textual" reading of the First Amendment. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Sean Duffy expressed similar sentiments Tuesday. A Trump transition rep notes "the President-elect is a very strong supporter of the First Amendment, but there's a big difference between that and burning the American flag." Though flag-burning is legal, Trump's desired punishment is not. A 1958 Supreme Court decision banned the stripping of US citizenship as a criminal penalty, reports Politico.
 

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