Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Contact Stabenow: she is about to desecrate the First Amendment

Dear Senator Stabenow;

I have written you before about your support of the proposed Constitutional amendment that would prohibit desecration of the flag. In your response to my urging you to vote “no” on the amendment, you wrote of your love of the flag, your respect for the men and women who have given their lives to protect the country the flag symbolizes, and how it pains you to see the flag being burned or otherwise desecrated. Writing as a Viet Nam veteran, my feelings are the same.

Being a good Democrat, however, I will once again ask you to change your mind. Why, since previous congresses have voted down such Constitutional changes? Well, this time it appears that it might pass. According to various news sources, the Senate is within one vote of approving the amendment (the House, never known for having much foresight in such matters, has already approved the amendment). Since the legislatures of all 50 states have already passed resolutions in favor of the amendment, the Senate is the only body that can stop passage of the amendment. Your vote might be the one that decides between possible desecration of the flag or definitely desecrating the First Amendment.

Over the decades, the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the “bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment…(is) that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive and disagreeable.” Your vote could change that principle. Consider it this way, if you vote for the amendment, the next Supreme Court ruling could state it this way: “bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment…(is) that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea UNLESS DEBBIE STABENOW finds the idea itself offensive and disagreeable.”

Please think hard, very hard, about your vote. As ludicrous as it may sound, are you willing to consider your feelings about the flag to be more important than the unique American concept of free speech?

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