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General News    H4'ed 11/29/16

Trump proposes stripping citizenship from political protesters

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Criminalizing flag burning is unconstitutional, at least when the flag is burned as a political statement. As the Supreme Court explained in Texas v. Johnson, “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.” Moreover, there is no indication “either in the text of the Constitution or in our cases interpreting it...that a separate juridical category exists for the American flag alone.” If someone chooses to express a political message through flag burning, even if that message is contempt towards the United States, the Constitution protects that speech.

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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

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