Federal Judge Okays Flag Desecration

By: Rachel Pulaski

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson has declared Missouri’s flag desecration law is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.  The judge ordered the state, political subdivisions and its officials to stop “enforcing or threatening to enforce” the law.

Fox News Reported:

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson issued a permanent injunction in the case of Frank Snider, who was arrested in 2009 for cutting up an American flag and throwing it into the street.  Missouri’s flag desecration law states: “Any person who purposefully and publicly mutilates, defaces, defiles, tramples upon or otherwise desecrates the national flag of the United States or the state flag of the state of Missouri is guilty of the crime of flag desecration.”

However, the judge ruled that the entire statute was invalid because it prohibits a substantial amount of protected speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union hailed the judge’s ruling, calling it “satisfying” but “not surprising.” “It’s a long delayed victory in Missouri,” said ACLU attorney Tony Rothert in an interview with the Associated Press. “The Supreme Court has been pretty clear that these statues are unconstitutional.”

The Missouri chapter of the American Legion denounced the ruling and said it was a sad day for the state.

A very sad day indeed.

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