This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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