With the election right around the corner, some Oklahoma politicians are turning to tried and true methods to get free media publicity and, in the process, help galvanize their deranged followers and backward thinking base.
For example, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey – the good ole boy from over yonder in southeastern Oklahoma who claims China invented the Coronavirus to kill fat Americans – went full 1980s-rewind on us and claimed he’s going to introduce a law that would make burning the American flag illegal.
Here are the details via an Aaron Brildork article with News 9:
A state lawmaker is working on legislation that would make burning the American flag illegal.
State Representative JJ Humphrey (R) Public Safety Committee Chair, said he wants to pass legislation outlawing the burning of the American Flag, unless it’s being done to retire the flag.
He’s also looking at legislation that would make flag burning inciting a riot or arson.
“Burning the flag is protected under the first amendment. So, you got to get creative on what we can do. So again, I’ve looked at is it arson when you are burning something out on the street? I think that it is.” Humphrey said.
Boy, isn’t that the quintessential Derplahoma lawmaker statement?
“Golly shucks! The symbolic, victimless action that I don’t personally like or endorse, and therefore want to strictly prohibit, is clearly protected by the same Constitution that I unconditionally praise and worship! I guess that means we better get creative on what we can do to violate human rights!
Unfortunately for Justin, it looks like his efforts to ban flag burning may be a colossal waste of time.
First of all, the judicial system has a pretty good eye when it comes to striking down creative efforts to suppress Americans’ rights to freedom of speech and expression. Back in the late 1980s, the US Supreme Court struck down multiple efforts by states and Congress to prohibit and enforce flag burning.
In addition to that, it looks like Oklahoma already has an unenforceable law in our statutes that prohibits flag burning. Check this out:
A. Any person who shall contemptuously or maliciously tear down, burn, trample upon, mutilate, deface, defile, defy, treat with indignity, wantonly destroy, or cast contempt, either by word or act, upon any flag, standard, colors or ensign of the United States of America, shall be guilty of a felony.
B. The word “defile” as used in this section shall include public conduct which brings shame or disgrace upon any flag of the United States by its use for unpatriotic or profane purpose.
C. The terms “flag”, “standard”, “colors”, or “ensign” of the United States as used in this section shall include any picture, representation or part thereof which an average person would believe, upon seeing and without deliberation, to represent the flag, standard, colors or ensign of the United States of America.
Listen, I know Derplahoman lawmakers like to waste taxpayers’ time and money with unconstitutional legislation, but can’t they at least come up with a new issue that isn’t already an unconstitutional law? That’s just lazy.