Roy Moore Offers Frightening Resolution to the NFL Protests.
Roy Moore, the bombastic Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama, claims NFL protesters who kneel during the national anthem are violating federal law.
Moore, in an interview with TIME.com published Wednesday, made the case that NFL players — and conceivably, anyone else — who fails to stand and put their hands over their hearts when the "Star-Spangled Banner" is played is not only unpatriotic, but a law breaker.
"It's against the law, you know that?" Moore told the magazine. "It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That's the law."
Moore told TIME that his position is about respect for the law and for fallen soldiers.
"I back the president in upholding respect for the patriotism for our country, on two grounds," Moore said. "One, it's respect for the law. If we don't respect the law, what kind of country are we going to have? Two, it's respect for those who have fallen and given the ultimate sacrifice. I'm surprised that no one brought this up."
"If they didn't have it in there, it would just be tradition," Moore later added. "But this is law. If we disobey this, what else are we going to disobey?"
But, is it really illegal?
Moore could be referring to a section of U.S. Code stipulating that during the national anthem, members of the military should salute, and "all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart."
That section does not outline a punishment for those who do not stand, however.
The key word in that section of code is "should," according to Eugene Volokh, a law professor and First Amendment expert at the UCLA School of Law.
"It's not clear to me that 36 U.S.C. 301 was ever meant to be legally binding — it says what people 'should' do rather than what they 'shall' or 'must' do," Volokh told CBS News.