Flag Protection Act Of 2005 Case Study

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1. When Eichman burned American flags on the steps of the U.S. capitol he violated the Flag Protection Act of 1989, which states “it is a crime to deface, damage, or otherwise physically mistreat an American flag in a way […] persons likely to observe or discover this action. The Act proscribes conduct that damages or mistreats a flag without regard to the actor’s motive, his intend message, or the likely effects of his conduct onlookers.”
2. There are some people who are very patriotic, and believe that someone who burns a symbolic figure should be punish. There are others who believe that the First Amendment gives any person the right to do whatever they please with their flag. The United States V. Eichman case exemplifies a dilemma with
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Congress’s response to the court decision in Texas V. Johnson was to pass the, Flag Protection Act 1989, which states that whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, […] any flag of the United States shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than one year or both. This response from Congress demonstrates that the government interest is solely based on how society feel about the desecration of a flag and in complete disregard on how the individual might feel. Congress want to preserve the flag as a national symbol.
5. United States V. Eichman was very different because unlike the Texas law in Johnson’s case the federal law does not target expressive conduct on the basis of the content of the message.
6. Justice William Brennan stated, “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” I completely agree with Justice Brennan’s thoughts on how the Flag Protection Act of 1989 violates an individual first amendment right because of how others feel. The courts believed that the federal law goes well beyond this by “criminally prescribing expressive conduct because of its likely communicative
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The majority in the United States V. Eichman case were able to protect First Amendment rights. The justices who voted to affirm this decision believed that the State’s asserted interests could not justify the infringement on the demonstrator’s first amendment rights. The government tried to instill an Act that depicted suppression of expression. The court saw this as unorthodox. I do believe that both the dissenting and majority were trying to seek out what’s best for society in two different ways. The justices who wrote in the majority opinion believe in protecting individual rights as oppose to the justices in the dissenting opinion who care about how society might view the burning of a

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