TRAFFIC ALERT:

CONSTRUCTION I-95 SB off-ramp to Philips closed 

ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
80°
Scattered Clouds
H 80° L 62°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    80°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 80° L 62°
  • clear-night
    63°
    Morning
    Clear. H 80° L 62°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    78°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 83° L 63°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Trump suggests a year in jail, loss of citizenship for flag burning
Close

Trump suggests a year in jail, loss of citizenship for flag burning

Trump suggests a year in jail, loss of citizenship for flag burning
FILE - In this July 20, 2016 file photo, a law enforcement officer takes Gregory "Joey" Johnson into custody after he started to burn an American flag in Cleveland, during the third day of the Republican convention. President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that anyone who burns an American flag should face unspecified "consequences," such as jail or a loss of citizenship _ a move that was ruled out by the Supreme Court nearly three decades ago. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Trump suggests a year in jail, loss of citizenship for flag burning

President-elect Donald Trump, in a tweet on Tuesday morning, suggested that burning an American flag should be a crime punishable by a forfeiture of U.S. citizenship or a year in jail.

“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.

It’s not clear what prompted Trump’s tweet.

Previous laws aimed at punishing those who desecrate the flag have been ruled unconstitutional, the reasoning being that the First Amendment protects a person’s right to free speech (or expression of an idea), and that includes burning a flag.

A ruling in 1989 Supreme Court case even saw the late Antonin Scalia, a staunch conservative by any measure, side with the person who had burned a flag in protest.

“If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag,” Scalia said in 2015 when asked about the ruling. “But I am not king.”

In the case, Texas v. Johnson, Scalia voted with the majority finding that the First Amendment protects the right to burn the flag.

“The way to preserve the flag’s special role is not to punish those who feel differently about these matters. It is to persuade them that they are wrong,” the 1989 majority opinion read. The case was brought over the prosecution of a Texas man who burned the flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.

From time to time a bill seeking to amend the Constitution to include a penalty for desecrating the flag has made its way to the Senate. The most recent attempt at a flag desecration amendment failed by one vote in the Senate on June 27, 2006.

A year before that, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton co-sponsored legislation, though not a constitutional amendment, that would make flag burning illegal. Clinton, however, voted against the 2006 bill to amend the constitution.  

The response to Trump’s tweet on Tuesday was swift.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) told Willie Geist on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday that while he does not agree with burning the American flag he does see the action as constitutionally-protected free speech. “We'll protect our First Amendment," McCarthy said.

Jason Miller, Trump's communications adviser, was questioned by CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” Tuesday about the tweet, but tried to deflect the question with news of Trump’s selection of new cabinet picks.

"Chris, flag burning is completely ridiculous. And I think you know that and I think the vast majority of Americans would agree," Miller said.

"But legal," Cuomo answered.

"But Chris, it's completely ridiculous. And I don't think there's a big universe of people out there who support flag burning. It's terrible and it’s despicable," Miller said.

While the conversation went on for a minute or so more, Miller pivoted to the news that Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia) would be named secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, but ended the flag burning conversation by saying, "Flag burning should be illegal. End of story. Let's get in and talk about how we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare and these fantastic picks that the president-elect announced this morning."

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

The Latest News Headlines

  • One person was killed and 15 injured, at least two critically, when gunfire erupted early Sunday morning at a hip-hop nightclub in Cincinnati,Ohio. Police are searching for multiple shooters, and have not made any arrests, yet. >> Read more trending news The man who was killed at the Cameo Night Club has been identified as 27-year-old Obryan Spikes. Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said at approximately 1:30 a.m. the emergency dispatch center began receiving calls that people had been shot at the club. A dispute erupted and several people opened fire inside the club, Isaac said. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley asked for prayers for those injured or killed. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying the shooters. The FBI and ATF are assisting in the investigation. >> Click here or scroll down for the latest
  • Alex Jones on Friday apologized to the owner of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria for spreading the fake story last year that linked the restaurant to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and human trafficking. Jones, as the Austin, Texas-based host of Infowars.com, has a long history of pushing wild and false conspiracy theories, such as claiming that the U.S. government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was a hoax. But in a rare backtracking mea culpa, Jones apologized for his role in promoting the baseless “Pizzagate” story that went viral among right-wing bloggers and media sites during the 2016 presidential campaign. >> Watch the clip here The gist of the fake story accused Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta, of running a child sex abuse ring through the Comet Ping Pong restaurant owned by James Alefantis. Podesta’s comments about the pizzeria — made in Democratic Party emails exposed by WikiLeaks — became fodder for fake news web portals as well as popular user-generated content sites like Reddit and 4chan. Jones, in a statement he read aloud for his online audience, tried to put some distance between himself and the fake story and blamed “scores of media outlets,” “third-party accounts of alleged activities” and “accounts of (Infowars) reporters who are no longer with us” for the “incorrect narrative” he discussed several times on his program. >> Read more trending news “In our commentary about what had become known as Pizzagate, I made comments about Mr. Alefantis that in hindsight I regret, and for which I apologize to him,” Jones said. In language that was clearly sculpted by a legal mind hoping to avoid possible litigation, Jones added: “To my knowledge today, neither Mr. Alefantis nor his restaurant Comet Ping Pong, were involved in any human trafficking as was part of the theories about Pizzagate.” For many people, the Pizzagate conspiracy theory became part of the mainstream political discussion only in December, after 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of North Carolina reportedly brought a gun into a Comet Ping Pong packed with customers, and pointed it at an employee in hopes of finding proof of “Pizzagate.” Welch surrendered to police when he found no evidence that children were being harbored there, D.C. police said at the time. He pleaded guilty to weapons and assault charges Friday, CNN reported.
  • For the second time in less than 24 hours, police have swarmed the Las Vegas Strip after at least one person was killed in a shooting near the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino. >> Related: Burglary at Bellagio Hotel and Casino prompts lockdown on Vegas strip Police said Saturday afternoon that the situation was not an active shooter situation.  The suspect peacefully surrendered around 6 p.m., according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. >> Read more trending news Around 11:30 a.m. Las Vegas police reported that they were investigating a shooting that occurred on South Las Vegas Boulevard. Authorities believed an individual who was on a bus that was traveling on the strip is responsible for the shooting. Police closed portions of the strip, and set up a staging area and a barricade. Guests at the Cosmopolitan resort were evacuated. Shortly after 11 a.m., KSNV reported that at least one victim of a shooting had been transported to University Medical Center trauma in unknown condition. At 1 p.m. Saturday, authorities reported a second victim had been killed. According to USA Today, police evacuated the nearby Cosmopolitan hotel and casino shortly after 1 p.m. “The shooting incident happened on the bus,” said Larry Hadfield, a spokesman with Las Vegas Metro police. “We had one single shooting incident with two victims. Both were transported to the trauma center and one is deceased.” Hadfield said police were negotiating with the suspect Saturday afternoon in an effort to take him into custody, USA Today reported. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 
  • Las Vegas police are investigating a burglary at a retail store in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino after an incident that occurred overnight Friday, The Associated Press reported.  >> Read more trending news Police said Saturday they believe at least three people entered the store. It was not immediately clear what items were stolen. The store was closed at the time of the burglary.  Authorities said the suspects broke into a high-end jewelry and watch store, where they may have used sledgehammers to break into the shop's jewelry cases. A witness said she saw an armed burglar wearing a pig mask near a Rolex store. Authorities said they are reviewing surveillance tape, where they saw multiple suspects wearing “character masks,” ABC News reported. According to ABC News, the Bellagio was on lockdown for approximately a half-hour after the incident. Police initially thought at least one of the theives may have fired gunshots during the burglary, but later said they believed the sound of the sledgehammers breaking the jewelry cases may have been confused for gunshots. Guests fled the hotel and casino in the midst of the incident. No one was injured.  Police have taken one suspect into custody.  Portions of the Bellagio were closed Saturday as police continue to investigate.
  • A couple has been indicted on accusations that they murdered their deaf teenage son and then burned down their house to cover up the crime, the Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, Ernest F. Franklin II, 35, and his wife, Heather Franklin, 33, of Guilford, New York, were charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. The two were indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of their adopted son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, People magazine reported. Following an investigation of a fire on March 1 at the family’s 1,300-square-foot home, the couple was arrested. Investigators believe they set fire to their home to cover up the killing of their son. An autopsy determined he died prior to the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Local law authorities have not said how or when the boy was killed. The Franklins got married in 2011 and adopted Jeffrey six or seven years ago, the sheriff’s office said. According to People magazine, Ernest is an Iraq War veteran. Heather wrote in posts on her Facebook page that she is pregnant. The Franklins are being held without bail. They entered a plea of not guilty. “People are asking themselves, ‘How could this happen?'” Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told People magazine. “Certainly for the public here, it’s a mix of anger and frustration and disappointment.” Just days before Heather Franklin was arrested, she posted an update on her Facebook page about how much she missed her son, who she called JR. She also informed friends and family that she and her husband had added their “needs” and “wants” to the CheckedTwice.com Family Gift Registry because they lost everything in the fire. A GoFundMe page was also established, but it has been taken down. The Associated Press reported that police who responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. on March 1 found the Franklin’s house, located about an hour away from Syracuse, engulfed in flames. Jeffrey was inside and unable to escape the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities initially said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood stove, the residence’s main heating source. “People are wondering how anybody could do something so brutal to a developmentally disabled and handicapped 16-year-old boy,” Cutting told People. “There are a lot of people who would have taken him. There are organizations that would have taken care of him. Why resort to that? … It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy.”

The Latest News Videos