Flag Protection Act of 2005

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The Flag Protection Act of 2005 was a proposed United States federal law introduced by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Robert Bennett. The law would have outlawed flag burning, and called for a punishment of one year in jail and a fine of $100,000.[1][2]

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the act was summarized as such:

"Amends the federal criminal code to revise provisions regarding desecration of the flag to prohibit: (1) destroying or damaging a U.S. flag with the primary purpose and intent to incite or produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace; or (2) stealing or knowingly converting the use of a U.S. flag either belonging to the United States or on lands reserved for the United States and intentionally destroying or damaging that flag."[3]

Since the law was not passed nor considered by the United States Congress, its constitutionality was not challenged by the Supreme Court. However, the bill's language was designed so as to prohibit the desecration of a flag when the intent was found to be a threat to public safety, the intention being that it would therefore not violate the First Amendment and not be declared unconstitutional.[4]

Both co-sponsors of the bill voted against the most recent Flag Desecration Amendment of 2006.

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