One of Tuesday’s hot topics was a morning tweet of President-elect Donald Trump that stated no one should be allowed to burn the American flag and that there should be consequences for anyone who does.
Trump included possible penalties — “loss of citizenship or [a] year in jail.”
“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin offered a dire response to the suggestion, saying Trump’s tweet “reeks of a dictatorship.”
“I think that’s what’s scary is when you have a president-elect saying things like that, that people should be jailed […] anything that’s infringing upon our constitutional rights to speak, and it reeks of a dictatorship,” Hostin said. “And I don’t know why more people aren’t terrified that he keeps saying these kinds of things over and over and over again.”
Trump’s tweet has come under intense fire.
But, as “The View” panelist Paula Faris mentioned, it was Hillary Clinton who co-sponsored a bill in 2005 that would have it criminal to burn a flag if “the primary purpose and intent [was] to incite or produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace.”
From CBS News:
While she was senator of New York, Clinton co-sponsored the Flag Protection Act of 2005, which would have outlawed “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.”
“The purpose of this Act is to provide the maximum protection against the use of the flag of the United States to promote violence while respecting the liberties that it symbolizes,” the bill reads.
The bill called for up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine to those found guilty of burning the flag. If one was to burn the flag on federal land, the punishment was ratcheted up to a $250,000 fine and two years in prison.
What’s more, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would disagree with Trump’s stance.
“Yes, if I were king, I […] I would not allow people to go about burning the American flag. However, we have a First Amendment, which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged. And it is addressed, in particular, to speech critical of the government. I mean, that was the main kind of speech that tyrants would seek to suppress,” Scalia said in 2012. “Burning the flag is a form of expression. Speech doesn’t just mean written words or oral words. It could be semaphore. And burning a flag is a symbol that expresses an idea — I hate the government, the government is unjust, whatever.”