"The reason our flag is different is because it stands for burning the flag," Representative Gary L. Ackerman, Democrat of New York, said in a speech on the House floor, wearing a flag-print necktie. "The Constitution this week is being nibbled to death by small men with press secretaries."
But Terri Ann Schroeder, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said public opinion polls should be irrelevant to debates about the First Amendment, since it serves mainly to protect statements and opinions that may be unpopular.
"That is antithetical to what the Bill of Rights is supposed to be about," Ms. Schroeder said, adding that she thought the amendment would fail by one or two votes.
Like most Democrats, two Republican senators, Robert F. Bennett of Utah and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have consistently opposed the measure.
"I don't want to amend the Constitution to solve a nonproblem," Mr. Bennett said. "People are not burning the flag. The only time they start is when this amendment gets offered."
Assessing the chances that his side might lose in the increasingly conservative Senate, he said, "We may," and added, "That is democracy."
I have been married for almost 23 years, and am the father of a teenage girl. I spend my days programming in just about any language they want in the banking and investing field. In the evening I work on my music, currently concentrating on arrangements and new choral pieces for my Church Choir. I have been Minister of Music, at my church for the past year, looking forward to next year. When I have time, I take pictures of anything and anyone. Also I play golf, not very well, but I enjoy it. Finally what I enjoy most is spending time with my family.
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