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Word Count: 298
1Case Name Texas v Johnson 2Texas v Johnson 491 US 397 109 SCt 2533 105 LEd2d 242 Argued in 1989 From case Since the State of Texas conceded that the actions of burning the flag were expressive conduct the Court had to decide whether the States regulation of flag burning related to suppression of free speech in order to determine which standard to apply Then the Court had to decide whether the State had an interest in regulating the speech which overrode the First Amendment protections Facts that Triggered the Dispute While the Republican National Convention was meeting in Dallas Texas in 1984 Gregory Johnson took part in a demonstration protesting policies of the Reagan administration During the demonstration Johnson burned an American flag and Dallas police arrested him 4 Statute Johnson was arrested and subsequently convicted under a Texas law that made it a criminal activity to desecrate a venerable object including a state or national flag 5 Provision of the Constitution Johnson alleged that his conviction under the Texas state law violated First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression 6 Legal Question Is flag burning in the context of this dispute an activity protected by the First Amendment 7 Outcome In a 54 ruling the Court held for Johnson 8 Legal Reasoning of the Majority In delivering the opinion of the Court justice William J Brennan Jr held that a Johnsons action constituted expressive conduct allowing him to raise a First Amendment claim b Although governments have a freer hand in restricting conduct as opposed to pure speech or writing they still must demonstrate a sufficiently important governmental interest in regulating the activity in question c Texass stated interestspreventing breaches of the peace and preserving the flag as a symbol of national unityare insufficient to prohibit Johnsons expressive conduct
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