texas v. johnson case brief Essay

487 Words 2 Pages
U.S. Supreme Court
TEXAS v. JOHNSON, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)
491 U.S. 397

     Johnson was convicted of desecration of a venerated object in violation of a Texas statute.

Date Decided:
     June 21, 1989

Facts of case:
     At the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, Johnson decided to burn an American flag in protest of some policies made by the Reagan administration and some Dallas corporations that he did not agree with. Noone sustained physical injury or was even threatened with physical injury, but many were offended by the jesture made by Johnson. The Texas penal code forbids the desecration of a venerated object.

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The question is unique. In my judgment rules that apply to a host of other symbols, such as state flags, armbands, or various privately promoted emblems of political or commercial identity, are not necessarily controlling. Even if flag burning could be considered just another species of symbolic speech under the logical application of the rules that the Court has developed in its interpretation of the First Amendment in other contexts, this case has an intangible dimension that makes those rules inapplicable.”


Source: http://www.riverreporter.com/news/library/491us397.htm

     I don’t really have an opinion on this subject. I see where both sides are coming from and I understand their reasoning. But, I will say that Johnson should not have done it during the time or at the place where he did. It could have easily started a riot and become a lot more serious than it did.

Principal of Law:

Texas Penal Code Ann. 42.09 (1989) states:
" 42.09. Desecration of Venerated Object
"(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly desecrates:
"(1) a public monument;
"(2) a place of worship or burial; or
"(3) a state or national flag.
"(b) For purposes of this section,

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