WASHINGTON, D.C. – It appears the Constitution doesn’t mean much to President-Elect Donald Trump.
In one of his infamous Twitter rants, this one coming in the early morning of Nov. 29, the former reality television personality who is soon to be the nation’s next president tweeted, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
The one slight problem with Trump’s rant is that the right to burn the American flag is protected speech under the Constitution’s First Amendment. This was confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that came before it in 1989. That fact was not lost on Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN). Ellison, who is in the running to chair the Democratic National Committee, said Trump could benefit from a much-needed lesson in civics.
“The President-elect ought to acquaint himself with the First Amendment,” said Ellison in a statement.
Ellison’s critique of Trump’s rant went even further, likening his view to that of a dictator.
“The President-elect has suggested an unconstitutional punishment for a constitutionally protected act of speech. Taking away someone’s citizenship for an act of political speech is something we might expect from a dictator or despot – not the President of the United States,” said Ellison in his retort. “The Constitution protects every American’s right to free speech, and to protest – nobody should have to fear being jailed or deported for voicing their opinion.”