Jonson should have not gone to court in the first place because what he had done was protected under the first amendment, the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. In the first amendment it states that there should be no law against the freedoms of speech. Protesting is one form of speech, also is the burning of the flag. Johnson was expressing himself as he was burning the flag. However, there is a limit though.
The other form of unprotected freedom of expression is the activities that cause harm to the national flag. It is considered illegal to cause any form of defacing of the national flag. However, in a case; United States v. Eichmann, 496 U.S. 310 (1990) the Supreme Court struck down efforts to denounce burning of a flag citing ambiguity in the constitution on the forms of expression (Lieberman, 1999, p.
Without the right to express one’s political views like this America would be no different than other countries who oppress their citizens, forbidding them to speak against the government. For this reason it is critical that acts such as flag desecration is allowed under the constitution.
The first and only time I had ever heard of someone burning the flag when I came across an article on Regory Lee Johnson. In 1984, he showed up at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas and burned an American flag in order to show his knowledge of the policies of Reagan administration. At the time, he was convicted of flag desecration, but the Supreme Court overturned that decision by ruling that burning a flag was “expressive conduct within protection of the first Amendment” (Pledging allegiance). The issue of flag desecration is one that been around for a while. There are two sides to the debate: one being that the flag should be protected by law, and one being that it should not because it restricts free speech.
The controversy peaked in 1989 and 1990 when a federal law to prohibit flag desecration was passed and subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court. The first amendment guarantees its citizens the right of speaking freely, but is the act of burning a flag "speech"? It is an inflammatory action that should not be protected by a clause meant to insure that citizens would not be suppressed in their efforts express unhappiness with the government or its actions. Limiting a person's right to free expression is not a radical new idea either; speaking or writing false stat... ... middle of paper ... ...ot believe the founding fathers have imagined that citizens of this country would want burn their own flag. In conclusion, the right of free speech never meant persons could do anything they please, regardless of its effects, and when that effect is to undermine the integrity and heritage of our great country we must act.
In this paper, I argue that courts should not treat civil parties in quasi-criminal cases the same as criminal defendants because character evidence can be misused as propensity character evidence. Part II of this paper discusses the bar against admitting character evidence. Part III deals with the split among courts as to whether this rule can apply in quasi-criminal cases. Part IV of this paper concludes that courts should resolve this split and refrain from treating civil parties in quasi-criminal cases as criminal defendants because the risk of prejudice does not support this use of the Federal Rules of Evidence. II.
In the Supreme Court Case Brandenburg v. Ohio, the KKK leader Charles Brandenburg's rights of freedom of speech were violated. He gave a speech to a group of other Klan members with a reporter there filming it. Brandenburg encouraged taking revenge upon the branches of government because they were restraining the white race, according to him. This went against the Ohio Criminal Syndicalism statute of 1919. That law made it illegal for anyone to advocate action against the government.
This statement by Woodrow Wilson summarizes the debate over a proposed amendment to outlaw burning of the American flag. Is this symbol of our nation too powerful to be defiled in our collective mind, or is its manifestation of values the reason for us to outlaw its desecration? We see many constitutional and non-constitutional reasons both for and against passing the amendment; an analysis of the Constitution is vital to forming a valid opinion on this issue. In the past, the Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag is a form of free speech which may not be limited by the government. One of the earliest decisions on this issue was in Street v. New York (1969).
The monologue inherently meets the requirements of being “speech” under the First Amendment. Therefore, the only question that remains is whether or not the First Amendment grants the FCC the authority to punish Pacifica for broadcasting the indecent content. While the monologue does not fall under any of the three main determined exemptions of the First Amendment, the Court still allows the regulation because of the context and content of the speech. The judgement of context and content of the speech comes from time, place, and manner restrictions that are often placed on speech of this kind. According to the majority opinion, speech is not protected by the First Amendment if it “will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent” (FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 1978, p. 745).