The Case of Texas vs Johnson

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Social Studies
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The Case of Texas vs Johnson

The Case of Texas vs. Johnson

March of 1989


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During the 1984 Republican National Convention, respondent Johnson participated in a political demonstration to protest the policies of the Reagan administration and some Dallas-based corporations. After a march through the city streets, Johnson burned an American flag while protesters chanted. No one was physically injured or threatened with injury, although several witnesses were seriously offended by the flag

The Supreme Court of Texas decided that, although he was convicted in the district court, he was innocent because he was practicing the 1st Amendment.

The court concluded that the State could not criminally sanction flag desecration in order to preserve the flag as a symbol of national unity.

burning. Johnson was convicted of desecration of a venerated object in violation of a Texas statute, and a state court of appeals affirmed. However, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed, holding that the State, consistent with the First Amendment, could not punish Johnson for burning the flag in these circumstances. The court first found that Johnson's burning of the flag was expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment.


The question that the judges needed to answer was if it violated any of the Amendments, because the Right to Speech of Amendment 1 kept coming back.

March 21, 1989 to June 21, 1989


This deals with the 1st Amendment.


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