President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his views about people who burn the United States flag.
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” he wrote.
Burning the U.S. flag is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court.
And as Fox News pointed out, several Democratic-leaning media institutions have criticized Trump for recommending going against already-settled civil rights law.
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Liberal publication Mother Jones described Trump's tweet as a “terrifying sign of how he may crack down on dissent during his administration, even if it means trampling the Constitution in the process.”
CNN's Chris Cuomo told Trump transition communications director Jason Miller that Trump must abide by Supreme Court rulings.
"These things matter Jason, they just do. When things are vetted by the Supreme Court and it's seen as constitutional, you gotta respect that. You just have to respect that,” Cuomo said.
But politicians have often advocated for state-enforced punishment for desecrating the nation's symbol.
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Among those politicians is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in an upset victory during the 2016 presidential election.
In 2005, as a Senator of New York, Clinton co-sponsored the Flag Protection Act.
“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 never made it to a vote, despite Clinton's support.
Had it passed, it would have required up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for U.S. flag burning, according to CBS Philly.
If a person was convicted of burning the flag on federal land, that person would have received a $250,000 fine and two years in prison, according to Clinton's proposed bill.