I'm no fan of the flag-burning amendment Congress just tried to pass, but Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) has a very strange argument against it. He says the amendment flies in the face of 1st Amendment freedom of speech. Well, yes, at least on standard readings of the 1st Amendment. I do think burning a flag is a stupid and wasteful way to make any point, but I think free speech has enough value that those who think they're saying something by burning a flag should be allowed to do so. But my reasoning for this is based on the value of free speech. It's not based on the first amendment. It makes no sense to argue against amending the Constitution by appealing to the Constitution. Byrd's complaint would be like arguing against the repeal of Prohibition by saying that Prohibition was in the Constitution. The 21st Amendment most definitely flies in the face of the 18th. But then that was the point. So too with this. Of course it flies in the face of something that its goal is to limit. I liked what Byrd had to say about why the gay marriage amendment was stupid, and I think there are similar arguments that work here, but this particular argument is pretty lame.
Most of the other things he says in this speech are ok, but I have to note another mistake that Senator Leahy also made recently. Senator Byrd at least acknowledges one amendment that limited individual freedom (the 13th), but he misses several of the others I listed in the above-linked post, most notably Prohibition. Perhaps he just meant currently valid amendments. Still, I think the others I listed are most plausibly taken as limitations on individual rights (notwithstanding some commenters' arguments to the contrary).