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Texas v. Johnson (docket #: 88-155) (1989)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Texas v. Johnson  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 03/21/1989
Decided 06/21/1989
Supreme Court Vote 5-4
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim sustained.
 
IssueWhether Respondent’s conviction, under a Texas law, for publicly burning an American flag as a means of political protest is protected under the First Amendment.
 
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Brennan, J.
Concurring Opinion Kennedy. J.
Dissenting Opinion Stevens, J., Rehnquist, C.J.
Lower Court Texas Supreme Court
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
Oral Arguments Oral Arguments (audio)  [Oyez]
-- edited transcript in Irons, Peter, editor, MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT: THE FIRST AMENDMENT (1997), pp. 218-226
Lawyers
For Petitioner
Kathi Alyce Drew

For Respondent
William M. Kunstler

For Amicus
Daniel J. Popeo & Paul D. Kamenar for Washington Legal Foundation

James C. Goodale, et al for Christic Institute, et al.

Peter Linzer, James C. Harrington, & Steven R. Shapiro for ACLU

Wyatt B. Durrette, Jr., & Bradley B. Cavedo for Legal Affairs Council

Tony Mauro Analysis
Justice Stevens shares changed thinking about flag desecration

"Justice shares his change in thinking about flag desecration" (11-28-06)

Opinion - Lower Court
Johnson v. Texas, 706 SW2d 120 (1986)
Johnson v. Texas, 755 SW2d 92 (1988)
News
AP, "Flag-burning proposal draws ire of some Arizona lawmakers"

Greenhouse, Linda, "US Justices, 5-4, Back Protestors' Right to Burn the Flag," New York Times, June 22, 1989, sect. A, p. 1
Kamen, Al, "Emotional Disputes Flare Over Flag Desecration; Supreme Court to Hear Arguments," Washington Post, March 19, 1989, sect. A, p. 9
Mauro, Tony, "Flag abuse on today's Supreme Court agenda," USA Today, March 21, 1989, sect. A, p. 3
Other
Ashcroft, John, Flag Protection Constitutional Amendment," Congressional Record, March 28, 2000, p. S1766
Barron, Jerome, & Dienes, C. Thomas, THE FIRST AMENDMENT (2000), pp. 238-244
Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony re Flag desecration, Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony, March 25, 1998 (on LexisNexis)
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: PRINCIPLES & POLICIES (1997), pp. 870-872
Cleland, Max, "Flag Desecration Constitutional Amendment," Congressional Record, March 17, 1999, p. S2866
Goldstein, Robert Justin, BURNING THE FLAG: THE GREAT 1989-1990 AMERICAN FLAG DESECRATION CONTROVERSY (1996)
Goldstein, Robert Justin, FLAG BURNING & FREE SPEECH: THE CASE OF TEXAS v. JOHNSON (2002)
Goldstein, Robert Justin, Overview: "Flag Burning" (2003)

Greenawalt, Kent, "O'er the Land of the Free: Flag Burning As Speech," 37 UCLA Law Review 925 (1990)
Greenawalt, Kent, FIGHTING WORDS (1995), pp. 28-46
Hatch, Orrin, "Flag Protection Constitutional Amendment," Congressional Record, February 4, 1988, p. S395
Hatch, Orrin, "Flag Protection Constitutional Amendment," Congressional Record, March 28, 2000, p. S1769
Loewy, Arnold, "The Flag-Burning Case: Freedom of Speech When We Need it Most," 67 North Carolina Law Review 165 (1989)
Michelman, Frank, "Saving Old Glory: On Constitutional Iconography," 42 Stanford Law Review 1337 (1990)
Shiffrin, Steven DISSENT, INJUSTICE, & THE MEANINGS OF AMERICA (1999), pp. 4-8
Smolla, Rodney, SMOLLA & NIMMER ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH (1994), sect. 5.02.2
Stone, Geoffrey, "Flag Burning & the Constitution," 75 Iowa Law Review 111 (1989)
Tushnet, Mark, "The Flag-Burning Episode: An Essay on the Constitution," 61 University of Colorado Law Review 39 (1990)
Vergobbi, David J., "Texas v. Johnson," in FREE SPEECH ON TRIAL (2003), Richard A. Parker, ed., pp. 281-297

Commentary
McMasters, Paul, "The flag amendment: Reverence confronts reason"

Editorial, "First Amendment Isn't on Father Curran's Side; Defenders of the Flag," New York Times, March 28, 1989, sect. A, p. 28
Editorial, "How about a 47-star flag?," Chicago Tribune, March 25, 1989, p. 8
Garbus, Martin, "Supreme Court retreat? The 'crime' of flag burning," The Nation, March 20, 1989, p. 369
Hatch, Orrin, "Hatch Flag Amendment Would Only Allow a law Banning Burning," Salt Lake Tribune, April 22, 2001, sect. A, p. 4
Hatch, Orrin, "Protect Flag From Physical Desecration," Salt Lake Tribune, November 11, 1995, sect. A, p. 11
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