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Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 18:51:43 -0500
Subject: Flag desecration amendment vote in Senate
Fellow civil libertarians:
With all of the activity about on-line censorship, I know it's hard to focus on anything else. But focus you must! The ultimate censorship, the amendment of the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment, is about to take place. The senate is poised to vote on the flag desecration amendment, possibly tomorrow. Please contact your Senator immediately to urge opposition to the amendment. A list of key Senators is listed below, along with crucial background information. Thanks for your vigilance. Vic Walczak
First Amendment Facing Serious Threat; Senate Vote on Flag Desecration Amendment Appears Imminent
Wednesday, December 6, 1995
WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union today urged all U.S. Senators to respect the first and highest principle of our country and vote against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the American flag.
"The First Amendment is this country's first principle," said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU's National Washington Office. "It is a critical part of what has made our country uniquely free. We have been strengthened, not weakened, by the sweep of its language and by the Supreme Court's adherence to its true meaning."
Murphy said the Senate's vote on the flag amendment represents yet another attempt to expand government powers by this radical Congress.
"From wiretapping to women's reproductive freedom, from free expression on the information superhighway to criminalizing political activities under proposed anti-terrorism bills, this so-called conservative Congress has spent most of its first session trying to expand government powers," Murphy said. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the majority party run on a platform of reducing government involvement in our lives? What then can be made of this agenda that denies civil liberties?"
Many prominent conservative commentators have decried, in particular, the attempt to pass the flag amendment. Just yesterday, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, published an eloquent defense of the First Amendment in The Washington Post.
Quoting conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, Senator McConnell said of the so-called Flag Protection Act: "If this is conservatism, then liberalism deserves a comeback."
Rather than a focus on liberalism or conservatism, the ACLU said that respect for traditional American values demand a vote against this constitutional amendment.
Warren S. Apel