Gregory Lee Johnson's Freedom Court Case Essay

Gregory Lee Johnson's Freedom Court Case Essay

Length: 880 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The United States first amendment states, congress cannot pass a law prohibiting a citizen’s freedom of speech. In 1984, Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag to protest against Reagan during the republican national convention. He was arrested and charged with abuse of an item if the action were to provoke anger in others. Texas court tried and convicted Johnson, he appealed claiming that his behavior was protected by the first amendment. The Supreme Court agreed to hear his case. The issue was whether flag burning compromises emblematic speech secured by the first amendment.
There were three arguments drafted from the proposed question “Is flag burning protected as symbolic speech by the first amendment?” (US Courts). One of the arguments included, “ can the government prohibit the act of flag burning as an infringement on the free speech clause of the first amendment,” (US Courts). the affirmative side argued that the first amendment indeed does protect against symbolic speech but only certain situations pertain to this circumstance. They also claimed that even if the flag was personally owned the government still has a valid reason to protect this object due to what it embodies. Their philosophy was the level of symbolic speech needs to be determined in order to draw the line between criminal behavior and freedom of speech. The opposing argument to this question explains that flag burning is protected by the first amendment even if it’s privately owned. They also state that the government cannot stop flag burning as a form of protest if it does not destroy public and/or the property of others. Another argument involved with this case was,” Should flag burning as symbolic speech be prohibited as an exceptio...

... middle of paper ... issue came about in the case the United States versus Eichman. In 1989 (as a result to Johnson’s case) the United States passed the Flag Protection Act. This act made it a crime to burn the American flag unless it was properly disposed of due to damage. The Supreme Court ruled this case exactly the same because it resulted in the same issue that freedom of speech cannot be allowed based on the circumstance but should exist in all viewpoints from every aspect. (Oyez). The fault in both cases was that the first amendment cannot exist sometimes, it has to exist all the
Time that’s why I agree with the Supreme Court ruling and this is how this court case helped society today.

Works Cited

1. Texas v. Johnson. No. 88-155. Supreme Ct. of the US. 21 Jun. 1989. Web.
2. United states v. Eichman. No. 89-1433. Supreme Ct. of the US. 11 Jun. 1990. Web.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

texas vs johnson Essay example

- Texas vs. Johnson A very controversial court case in American history was Texas vs. Johnson (1984). In 1984, a man named Gregory Lee Johnson followed a group of anti – Reagan protesters to oppose the American exploitation of third world countries. This act of rebellion resulted in the burning of the American flag. Out of a total of approximately one hundred demonstrators who were involved in this ordeal, Johnson was solely charged with a crime. Johnson was arrested under Texas law, which made the burning of the United States or Texas flags crimes....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
699 words (2 pages)

Freedom of Speech

- Imagine a time when one could be fined, imprisoned and even killed for simply speaking one’s mind. Speech is the basic vehicle for communication of beliefs, thoughts and ideas. Without the right to speak one’s mind freely one would be forced to agree with everything society stated. With freedom of speech one’s own ideas can be expressed freely and the follower’s belief will be stronger. The words sound so simple, but without them the world would be a very different place. Without the right to speak freely one would not be able to debt, nor would one be able to receive full coverage on world issues....   [tags: First Amendment Essays]

Better Essays
1581 words (4.5 pages)

The First Amendment and Conservative Rulings of the Supreme Court Essays

- The First Amendment and Conservative Rulings of the Supreme Court The authors of the Constitution of the United States created a magnificent list of liberties which were, at the time ascribed, to most people belonging to the United States. The main author, James Madison, transported the previous ideas of fundamental liberties from the great libertarians around the world, such as John Lilburne, John Locke, William Walwyn and John Milton. Madison and other previous libertarians of his time were transposed into seventeen different rights which were to be secured to all those in the United States....   [tags: Politics Political Essays]

Free Essays
812 words (2.3 pages)

Proclaim Your Freedom of Speech – Burn a Flag!

- Proclaim Your Freedom of Speech – Burn a Flag.       "This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours" (quoted in Smith 87). 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....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]

Better Essays
2188 words (6.3 pages)

Exit to Freedom by Calvin Johnson Essay example

- During the summer of 1984, Calvin Johnson trudges knee deep through a swamp in the wetlands of South Georgia. As snakes brush past his legs, he marches in line with nine other men, each dressed in an orange jumpsuit, swinging a razor sharp bush axe in collective rhythm. His crew entered the swamp at dawn and they will not leave until dusk. Guards, armed with shotguns, and equally violent tempers, ignore the fact that the temperature has risen well above 100 degrees and push the men even harder. Suddenly, an orange blur falls to the ground and a prisoner from Wayne Correctional Institution lies face down in the swampy floor....   [tags: Calvin Johnson]

Better Essays
1059 words (3 pages)

An Analysis of Johnson & Johnson Essay

- Johnson & Johnson researches, develops, manufactures, and sells products in health care. The company was founded by three brothers, Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson, and Edward Mead Johnson, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1886 (J&J website). Alex Gorsky is currently the chairman and chief executive officer of the company. Johnson & Johnson is known for providing a competitive pricing strategy. In the United States, Johnson and Johnson strives to keep their net price increases for health care products within the Consumer Price Index....   [tags: Johnson & Johnson Case Study]

Better Essays
2815 words (8 pages)

Jaffree v. Wallace Supreme Court Case: Analysis Essay

- In 1971 in Mobile County Alabama the School Board created a state statute that set aside time at the beginning of each day for silent ’meditation’ (statute 6-1-20), and in 1981 they added another statute 16-1-20.1 which set aside a minute for ‘silent prayer’ as well. In addition to these, in 1982 the Mobile County School Board enacted statute 16-1-20.2, which specified a prayer that teachers could lead ‘willing’ students in “From henceforth, any teacher or professor in any public educational institution within the State of Alabama, recognizing that the Lord God is one, at the beginning of any homeroom or any class, may pray, may lead willing students in prayer, or may lead the willing stu...   [tags: Religious Freedom, US Supreme Court]

Better Essays
3073 words (8.8 pages)

Texas v. Johnson Essay

- Texas v. Johnson (No. 88-155). Argued: March 21, 1989. Decided: June 21, 1989 In 1984 the Republican National Convention was held in Dallas, Texas. While there, a group of protesters, opposed to President Reagan's reelection, burned an American flag. Specifically, Greg Johnson was seen dousing the flag with kerosene and lighting it on fire. Johnson was arrested under a Texas flag desecration law. He was convicted and sentenced to one year in jail and fined $2000....   [tags: court cases]

Better Essays
1629 words (4.7 pages)

The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson Essay

- The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson Ask someone who was one of the first people to break the color barrier in sports and you're almost guaranteed that the answer is Jackie Robinson. Yet almost 40 years earlier there was a black boxer by the name of Jack Johnson, also known as John Arthur Johnson....   [tags: Jack Johnson Sports African American]

Free Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

Lyndon Johnson Essay

- Lyndon Johnson Lyndon Johnson led the country for five years (1963-1968) after President John Fitzgerald Kennedy died of gunshot wounds on November 22, 1963. He formulated many policies and carried out many others that Kennedy could not finish. He faced many foreign problems as well, including the Vietnam War and the Cold War. How he dealt with foreign problems put him near last if not last in foreign affairs, when compared to other presidents. Johnson always talked to tourists and met reporters informally....   [tags: History President USA Johnson Essays Papers]

Better Essays
1254 words (3.6 pages)