Texas vs Johnson Case name: Texas vs Johnson Case number:491 U.S 397 Facts/background detail The case of Texas vs Johnson was introduced in march 21, 1989. In 1984, in front of the Dallas City Hall, Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag as a means of protest against Reagan administration policies. The problem with what he did is that whether it was protected by the first amendment or not. The court agreed with johnson that he was protected by the first amendment, also that his conduct was a symbolic speech.
The court agreed on a vote of 5-4 favored to johnson. Although they agreed it went through some stages. The texas court of appeals overturned his conviction, saying that the state could not punish Johnson for burning the flag.
So then Texas asked the supreme court to hear the case. Although it was protected by the first amendment the flag’s symbol meant something to people and they would prohibit flag burning. So then johnson was fined 2,000 dollars and sentenced to prison for one year. The LawTexas vs Johnson section 1 amendment 1″Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. U.S. amend.
IThis says that they won’t abridging the freedom of speech and also that everyone should be able to speak. This relates to the case because johnson thought that he had the right to speak about flag burning. Also that he would be protected under the first amendment because it said that he had the right to speak out. With regards to Texas vs Johnson the U.S supreme court needs to answer the following question,”is flag burning protected by the first amendment?”Argument Texas the petitioner argued, “the flag’s symbol of national unity outweighed “symbolic speech” and that they should prohibit flag burning.
” He thought that it shouldn’t be legal. Then johnson the respondent argued, “my actions were “symbolic speech” protected by the First Amendment.” The Supreme Court agreed to hear his case.
Opinion The court came to a decision of 5-4 favoring johnson that his actions was protected under the first amendment. The people who agreed with johnson are Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Scalia, and Kennedy. The majority said that they thought johnson’s action was protected under the first amendment and also that it was under expressive conduct. Brennan said, “it was a form of symbolic speech that was protected under the first amendment.”(uscourts.gov)The person who authorized it was William J. Brennan Jr. .
he agreed that johnson was protected under the first law. He thought that he was good and agreed that he was fine. The other people who agreed, like I stated, are Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Scalia, and Kennedy.
The people who disagreed were Rehnquist, White, Stevens, and O’conor. They mostly all had the same reason why they disagreed. Stevens argued “the flag’s unique status as a symbol of national unity outweighed “symbolic speech” concerns, and thus, the government could lawfully prohibit flag burning.”(uscourts.gov) The concurring opinion was that he was not protected and that the flag meant to much were it shouldn’t be allowed. Outcome of the case The final outcome of the case was 5-4 in favor of johnson. The majority opinion was that johnson action was a symbolic speech that was protected by the first amendment.
The people who agreed with the case where Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Scalia, and Kennedy.Brennan said, “it was a form of symbolic speech that was protected under the first amendment.” (uscourts.gov) The person who authorized it was William J. Brennan Jr. Response to court decision The people didn’t like the decision that johnson was protected because the flag to some people meant something.
Some people dislike the action of johnson while some didn’t care. Some didn’t care because for 1 some didn’t care and 2 people thought that it didn’t mean anything to them. But for the most part people dislike the action of johnson and what he did. The people who dislike the decision was mostly Texas. Impact on decision The rule before texas v johnson was that you can’t desecrated any venerated object.
After it went to the supreme court the law changed. The new law now is that flag burning is a form of speech that is protected under the first amendment. The law did change after the case of texas v johnson. The decision of the court did make a impact on the new law change. Now it is protected under the first amendment. The Decision Today The decision today says that burning the flag is a speech that is now protected under the first amendment.
The decision made some unhappy, but it is now a law that says that flag burning is protected under the first amendment. Also that the decision was made because of the supreme court and that their decision influenced the rule of flag burning. Even know some have done flag burning recently it is still protected under the first amendment. My personal opinion My opinion to texas v johnson is that flag burning shouldn’t be allowed. I believe this because the flag does mean something to some people and others just don’t know that. They just think that the flag is just a flag that doesn’t mean anything, but it really does mean something to some people. Impact on your life The case of texas v johnson, which talks about flag burning, impacted our life in many different ways.
Like one reason is that know we have the right to talk about the flag, and that know we can burn the flag. Both of these are protected under the first amendment and says that we have the right to speak out.