The Flag Protection Act Of Desecrating A Flag Essay

947 Words 4 Pages
On June 11th, 1990 the Supreme Court ruled that, in United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990), the 1989 Flag Protection Act was unconstitutional on the grounds that the act of desecrating a flag was a symbolic speech act, which was protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. At the time of the ruling, the justices on the bench were (in order of seniority): Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (Republican), Associate Justice William J. Brennan (Republican), Associate Justice Byron R. White (Democrat), Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall (Democrat), Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun (Republican), Associate Justice John Paul Steven (Republican), Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Republican), Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (Republican), and Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (Republican). Going against the expected vote, in a 5-to-4 decision, the Rehnquist Court struck down the 1989 Flag Protection Act, and upheld previous precedent from the similar case of Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), by concluding that the Flag Protection Act’s interests were “related to the suppression of free expression and concerned with the content of such expression" (United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990)). By making this ruling, the Supreme Court exhibited a degree of both judicial activism, and judicial restraint. Although the Court’s decision supports more evidence of Judicial Activism, and argument for the defense of judicial restraint can also be made.…

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