Justice Brennan's Opinion in Texas v. Johnson

Justice Brennan's Opinion in Texas v. Johnson

Length: 313 words (0.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Justice Brennan's Opinion in Texas v. Johnson

Justice Brennan cited several First Amendment cases to show that a precedent
was set to encompass protection for expression which is not spoken or written (i.e.,
protection for symbolic actions such as protesting conflict through arm-band wearing,
sit-ins, etc.). The cases cited, including the current one, were subject to the O'Brien test,
which is a measure to determine if the State's statute can be considered valid, in that it
specifically forbids non-communicative expression for the benefit of direct substantial
government interest .
In defense, the State extended two interests to justify the limitations on
expression: preventing disturbance of the peace and protecting the flag as "a symbol of
nationhood and national unity." The Court deemed that the first qualification was not
subject to the O'Brien test, and that the second was a direct maneuver to limit expression.
The Court first showed that Johnson's action did not classify as either "breaching
the peace," or as "fighting words." Thus, the circumstances must be evaluated to
determine whether or not the motive for the action was to directly incite or produce
"imminent lawless action" (Brandenburg v. Ohio), and whether or not the breach of
peace actually occurs. Justice Brennan stated that the First Amendment's purpose was to
defend such controversial and "disagreeable" speech and actions, rather than to censor it
based upon the "potential" for a breach of the peace.
Justice Brennan showed that the second motive behind the Texas statute might
show direct governmental interest in limiting expression, but that the law did not qualify
protection under the O'Brien test because the action was a "suppression of free
The Court continued by showing that the flag cannot be protected simply because
the majority of people in the State hold it in high regard. Rather, the State cannot

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Justice Brennan's Opinion in Texas v. Johnson." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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]

Research Papers
1629 words (4.7 pages)

Supreme Court Case Of Texas V. Johnson Essay

- Is the upholding of the American flag as a symbol of the United States more important than the freedom of speech provided by the First Amendment. Are there certain freedoms of expression that are not protected under the First Amendment and if so what qualifies as freedom of speech and expression and what does not. The Supreme Court case of Texas v. Johnson proves that the First Amendment and the freedom of speech are not limited to that of spoken and written word, but also extended to symbolic speech as well....   [tags: First Amendment to the United States Constitution]

Research Papers
1782 words (5.1 pages)

Texas V. Johnson Essay

- Texas v. Johnson (1989) In 1984, following a protest march through the streets of Dallas, Texas against the policies of the Reagan Administration, Gregory Lee Johnson was handed an American flag. Outside the Dallas City Hall, Johnson through the flag onto the ground, poured kerosene on it, and set fire to it. Many protesters around Johnson began a chant of, "America, the red, white, and blue, we spit on you!" While many protesters agreed with what Johnson had done, there were several others who felt extremely offended....   [tags: Flag Burning Legal Case Law]

Free Essays
1117 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Gregory Lee Johnson Was Convicted For Desecration

- Gregory Lee Johnson was convicted for desecration of a venerated object; a violation of a Texas Statute in the County Criminal Court No. 8 of Dallas County by Judge John C. Hendrik. He sentence was one year in prison and a fine of $2000. The respondent appealed with the Dallas Court of Appeals, Fifth Supreme Judicial District, 706 S.W.2d 120 (1986), Judge Vance affirmed the conviction, and a rehearing was denied. The defendant subsequently petitioned for a discretionary review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 755 S.W.2d 92 (1988)....   [tags: First Amendment to the United States Constitution]

Research Papers
894 words (2.6 pages)

`` Johnson Miller Is The Prototypical, Hard Charging Texas Gal Essay examples

- Introduction Jane “Bitzi” Johnson-Miller is the prototypical, hard-charging Texas gal who has used grit and determination to work her way to the top of her field. She was the owner of a successful Dallas software company that she sold to Austin-based Dell Computer for $2.5 million in 2014. As a result, by selling to Dell, she was able to keep the money in Texas. Like many Texas women, not only is she a self-made, she earned her status as a business and community leader while a single mother successfully raising two children to adulthood....   [tags: Texas, United States, Economics, George W. Bush]

Research Papers
1639 words (4.7 pages)

Texas v. Johnson Argumentative Essay

- Texas v. Johnson Argumentative To this day, Americans have many rights and privileges. Rights stated in the United States constitution may be simple and to the point, but the rights Americans have may cause debate to whether or not something that happens in society, is completely reasonable. The Texas v. Johnson case created much debate due to a burning of the American Flag. One may say the burning of the flag was tolerable because of the rights citizens of the United States have, another may say it was not acceptable due to what the American flag symbolizes for America....   [tags: burning of the American Flag]

Research Papers
691 words (2 pages)

Lyndon Johnson 's The National Youth Administration Of Texas Essay examples

- When Lyndon Johnson first arrived in Washington, he did so with the intent of making as many connections as possible. Johnson himself claimed that he had an uncanny ability to “immediately…evaluate the intelligence of a person and the worth and validity of his information (Kearns Goodwin, 73). He used this skill to discern whom it was best to learn what from and to acquire powerful new acquaintances. In 1935, Johnson’s connections earned him an appointment of the National Youth Administration of Texas....   [tags: Lyndon B. Johnson, Civil Rights Act of 1964]

Research Papers
1491 words (4.3 pages)

The Freedom Of Speech : Texas V. Johnson

- When it comes to Freedom of Speech, we have the ability to express ideas, thoughts, and ourselves for personal and political purposes, which is great for our civil rights and liberties. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states in relevant part, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” (Ivers, 2013) In the interim, we also have to remember, there are pros and cons to every amendment that we all have to keep in mind. We also need to keep in mind that we are accountable for our words even with “Freedom” of speech....   [tags: First Amendment to the United States Constitution]

Research Papers
1612 words (4.6 pages)

The Texas Department Of Criminal Justice System Essays

- The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Reentry and Integration Division is guided by legislative mandates designed to establish a comprehensive reentry and integration plan for Offenders involved in the adult criminal justice system. The target of the division is to reduce recidivism by providing a three phase Reentry program for releasing adult offenders in conjunction with the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI). TCOOMMI coordinates the mental health and medical needs of offenders under supervision through partnerships and state resources....   [tags: Prison, Criminal justice, Crime]

Research Papers
723 words (2.1 pages)

texas v. johnson case brief Essay example

- U.S. Supreme Court TEXAS v. JOHNSON, 491 U.S. 397 (1989) 491 U.S. 397 Citation: Johnson was convicted of desecration of a venerated object in violation of a Texas statute. Date Decided: June 21, 1989 Facts of case: At the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, Johnson decided to burn an American flag in protest of some policies made by the Reagan administration and some Dallas corporations that he did not agree with. Noone sustained physical injury or was even threatened with physical injury, but many were offended by the jesture made by Johnson....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
495 words (1.4 pages)

Related Searches

Constitutionally form an opinion of the flag, because it then assumes that only one view
of the flag exists. Since more than one view exists, and by protecting only one opinion
when many are present, the State is showing unjust and biased preference for that belief.
The Court also affirmed that the action of burning the flag does not lessen the symbolism
of the flag, so no specific governmental interest can exist.
Return to 123HelpMe.com