Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday sharply broke from President-elect Donald Trump’s declaration that flag-burners ought to be jailed and have their citizenship revoked.
“The Supreme Court has held that that activity is a protected First Amendment right,” the top Republican senator told reporter. “In this country, we have a long history of protecting unpleasant speech.” McConnell reaffirmed his support for the 1989 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which ruled flag burning to be protected speech. In the past, he has also voted against a constitutional amendment banning the practice.
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday morning, mere minutes after Fox & Friends—a show on which he frequently appears—aired a segment about Hampshire College students burning the American flag to protest Trump’s election. Read more at THE HILL.