NJ criminal defense attorney, Robert (Bob) Bianchi, Esq. former Morris County Prosecutor joined co-guest Lis Wiehl, Esq., to debate the controversial tweet of President-Elect, Donald Trump who intimated that he would fight to criminalize flag burning and even consider revoking a person’s citizenship for such acts. His tweet has set off a firestorm of controversy.
This flag burning issue has already been decided by the US Supreme Court on 2 previous occasions. The last time the decision was written by conservative Justice, Antonin Scalia, who upheld a person’s right to burn the flag. Scalia opined that even though he hates the burning of the US flag, that his obligation as a judge interpreting the constitution required him to say that this is considered free speech under our US Constitution. Listen to the segment to listen to Lis read Justice Scalia’s exact quote on this very point.
Bianchi and Wiehl debated the issue from a legal perspective in this interesting discussion on the merits of such laws that Mr. Trump suggests to propose. Bianchi believes that once we start to chill free speech, that a slippery slope will occur and that when free speech of citizens (irrespective of its offensiveness) “…is restricted anywhere, it affects our free speech rights everywhere,” And, there are ample examples of this in history to prove this point.
Bianchi opines this is why the founding fathers were so vigilant in ensuring that all sorts of vile, hateful, and even disgusting speech was protected under the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution to ensure that our free speech rights were never watered down in a democracy of the people against government intrusion. Co-guest, Lis Wiehl was in agreement with that proposition in this fast-paced and information packed segment.
Let us know what your thoughts are.