Members of the U.S. Senate defeated a proposed Constitutional amendment allowing states to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. The amendment narrowly missed the 66 votes needed to move on to the states for ratification.
"I am pleased and thankful that members of the Senate, unlike their counterparts in the House of Representatives, took stock of the most important issue of preserving the principles on which this country was founded more than 200 years ago," said Kelly Hawes, president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
"I applaud the courage it took for those who voted against this amendment and in favor of Americans' continued right to freedom of speech. While it wasn't a popular vote, it was the right thing to do."
"But journalists and the American people must remain vigilant on the heels of Sen. Orrin Hatch's post-vote remarks that the flag-desecration resolution would continue to be brought up," said Hawes. "The passing of such an amendment would only undermine the principles of the First Amendment, which have served us well for 200 years."