1995 December 12

Flag Burning Amendment Falls 3 Votes Short in Senate


Following two Supreme Court decisions that upheld the constitutionality of burning the American flag as a form of expression under the First Amendment (Texas v. Johnson, June 21, 1989; United States v. Eichman, June 11, 1990), there were several efforts to amend the Constitution to prohibit burning the flag. On this, the most serious effort, the Senate failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds vote to approve an amendment and send it to the states for ratification. The vote was 63–36, three votes short of the necessary 66 votes.

The proposed amendment represented a historic crisis for the First Amendment, as it had never been amended and still has not been.

Learn more about flag burning: Robert Justin Goldstein, Flag Burning and Free Speech (2000)

And learn more about the flag burning cases: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/flagburning.htm

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