Hatch's flag amendment clears U.S. Senate subcommittee

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WASHINGTON - Sen. Orrin Hatch's bill calling for a constitutional amendment to allow Congress to ban desecration of the American flag passed out of a Senate subcommittee on Thursday in a bipartisan vote. The measure, which now goes to the full Judiciary Committee, passed on a 6-3 vote. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has said he plans to bring the bill to the floor for a vote in June. Hatch was attensding a funeral and absent from the hearing, but he submitted a statement for the record saying a constitutional amendment is necessary to protect the U.S. flag after a court ruling struck down a statutory provision against flag desecration. "I understand that there is some reticence among my colleagues to take this step of amending the Constitution," Hatch's statement said. "But I would remind them of something the American people have never forgotten - the Supreme Court is only human, and those judges sometimes get things wrong." - Thomas Burr