A Landmark Supreme Court Case

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A landmark Supreme Court case is one in which a precedence is set and there is an impact on society. There are many reasons for the importance of landmark cases and the studying of such cases. Some of these reasons are to study how the judicial branch works, try to understand how decisions made in the judicial branch affects laws and everyday life, and predict how current issues and cases will be affected by past decisions (The Judicial Learning Center, 2012). There are many examples of Supreme Court cases that are considered to be a landmark, but one example is Texas vs. Johnson. Outside of the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, many people protested President Ronald Reagan’s policies. Among the protestors was one man named Gregory Lee Johnson. This man was so upset by the policies of the President that he burned an American flag in protest. By doing this, a statute in Texas was violated. This statute prevented the desecration of an American flag if it could possibly anger other people amongst the protest. Johnson was arrested and charged with this violation. He was later tried in court and convicted, but he made an appeal stating that by burning the flag he was expressing his rights of “symbolic speech” which are protected by the first amendment (uscourts.gov). The definition of symbolic speech is the same as a term called “speech plus”. This is a form of expression in which behavior is used by itself or in coordination with written or spoken
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