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Johnson v. Texas

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Incarnation Catholic

on 27 May 2015

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Transcript of Johnson v. Texas

Johnson vs. Texas: 1989
Background of Case
Gregory Lee Johnson burned and american flag outside the convention ceneter where the 1984 Republican National Convention was held.
Johnson was sentenced to one year in prison and fined 2,000 dollars.
demonstrators marched through the streets, chanted slogans, and held protests outside the offices of several corporations.


Background of Case
Johnson burned the flag to protest the policies of President Ronald Reagan.
He was arrested and charged with violating a Texas statute that prevented the desecration of a venerated object.
during the burning of the flag demonstrators shouted "America the red, white, and blue, we spit on you.
Nobody was hurt or threatened with injury, but some witnesses to the flag burning said they were seriously offended."
Background of Case
one witness picked up the flag's charred remains and buried them in his backyard.
Johnson argued that burning the American flag was symbolic speech and protected by the first Amendment.
Decision
The Supreme Court favored him 7-3
The high court agreed symbolic speech, no matter how offensive it was to people, it is protected by the First Amendment.
Johnson's actions fell into a category of expressive conduct.
Effect on American Life
People can't be fined or convicted for burning an American flag.
Soldiers weren't happy about the flag being burned.
Now today people can burn the American flag in any type of way.
Full transcript