Why is Congress debating a constitutional amendment to prevent flag-burning?

Monday, December 2, 2002

Congress has previously passed legislation prohibiting flag-burning, which the Supreme Court invalidated as unconstitutional on free-speech grounds. Because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment will always trump conflicting state or federal legislation. Only a constitutional amendment can authorize Congress — and the states — to pass laws to prohibit flag-burning and override the Supreme Court.