Target: President-Elect Donald Trump
Goal: Clarify comments threatening unconstitutional punishments for flag burning.
President-elect Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to denounce protesters burning the American flag stating that those burning the flag should be jailed, or stripped of their citizenship. Since a 1989 Supreme court ruling, flag burning has been recognized as an act of free speech constitutionally guaranteed under the First Amendment. This ruling was upheld again in 1990. The Supreme Court has also ruled that in all cases it is unconstitutional for the government to use the removal of citizenship as a punishment.
Given that Trump will soon swear an oath to uphold the constitution, his recent statements are concerning. Additionally, as president he may fill up to four places on the U.S. Supreme court and his view of what is and isn’t constitutional may affect his picks. Sign our petition and demand the president-elect clarify his statement calling for unconstitutional punishments for people exercising constitutionally protected rights.
Dear President-elect Trump,
On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 you stated on Twitter that, in your opinion, those burning the American flag should be jailed or lose their citizenships. As you must be aware, in both 1989 and 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag is a constitutionally protected act under the First Amendment. Furthermore, in 1958 the Supreme Court ruled that removing a person’s citizenship as punishment for a crime, however heinous, is unconstitutional.
On the January 20, 2017 you will swear a solemn oath to uphold the constitution and serve as president for all Americans. This oath will be in direct contradiction of your statements on November 29th. I urge you to make a public statement affirming your commitment to the constitution and rejection of these, and all other, unconstitutional acts.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore