So the day after posting that last bit about the flag-burning, I heard an interview with Orrin Hatch, sponsor of the bill.
There are two things that illuminate this issue more than any other. I'm going to have to paraphrase.
The first thing he said that seemed completely nonsensical was that no one could possibly be against anti-flag-burning measures. If I remember the comments correctly, he said of the bill, "Who could be against that?"
I can only assume he's willfully ignoring the fact that since it has yet to pass the Senate, people obviously have their reasons. I outlined several of mine previously, but let's again not forget the First Amendment and that people may wish to express themselves differently than he does.
The second thing he said was far more illuminating: Hatch said he felt the Supreme Court was thumbing its nose at Congress and the will of the people and that they had no business in the crafting of law.
I am boggled.
The whole point of the Supreme Court on a macro level is to provide a counter to the power of the President and Congress. Certainly the Court doesn't actually draft law, but they are fully within their purview to denounce, validate or otherwise pass judgment on laws that come into question before them. Their job is to interpret law and even to reject law if it is found to be incompatible with the ideals of our civil justice system.
But I'm sure he actually knows this and is seeking to appeal to the stupid or the uneducated.
Ultimately, I came away with a realization that this has nothing to do with the will of the people, this is internecine squabbling of the calibre my pre-teen children engage in. This is about bullying and hurt feelings and other things that should have no place in government (yet sadly do).
Grow up, Hatch.