Freedom Of Speech : The Texas Vs. Johnson Essay

796 Words Jul 26th, 2016 4 Pages
The First amendment in the Constitution are Freedom of Speech; Freedom of Speech was defined by: “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.” (FindLaw) Although the constitution states this declaration, many events in history have proven otherwise. Prominent cases such as the Texas vs. Johnson in 1989, Elonis vs. U.S. in 2014, Schenck vs. U.S. in 1919, and Tinker vs. Des’moines in 1969 showed the Supreme Court declaring that the amendment was not protecting the people. As citizens of the United States, people do not have complete Freedom of Speech because historical events revealed certain types of speech are ruled as limited.

These cases were brought to court because individuals declared certain types of speech should be prohibited. In 1989, Texas vs. Johnson came to the Supreme Court. In this case, “Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag outside of the convention center where the 1984 Republican National Convention was being held in Dallas, Texas.” (US Courts) He was arrested for discriminating, burning down a venerated object, and fueling others to join in on the rageful act. Johnson then appealed by stating his actions were only “symbolic speech” which is protected by the First Amendment. This case surely shows an insight to how…

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