Case Study Questions

1. The case study references one state statute. Identify it and explain what it prohibits. 42.09 (a) (3) Prohibits “desecration of a venerable object” 2. Which branch of government (executive, judicial, or legislative) created the state statute? It’s legislative

3. The passage above also discusses one court case. Who were the parties involved in the case? State v. Johnson
4. The case was heard by three lower courts before it reached the United States Supreme Court. List those three courts in order, beginning with the court that has the most authority and ending with the court that has the least amount of authority. United States Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas Court of Appeals, Fifth District 5. Provide the citation for the United States Supreme Court’s decision in this case. Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).

6. What effect did the United States Supreme Court’s decision have on the Texas statute? The Court struck down the statute. Id. Which means it is no longer valid 7. Write 1-2 paragraphs explaining the difference between case law (like the court cases above) and statutory law (like the state statute above). Focus your discussion on how case law and statutes are created, the weight of their authority, and how they can be amended or changed. From my understanding case law comes from Judges ruling on specific cases, most of which come from state statute laws. In this flag burning case the state statute violated the first amendment and therefore could not be upheld. So in this case the state statute helped create a case law. So from now on attorney’s can and will use the case law case to defend the right to burn a flag or another approach to freedom of speech and be able to cite the case. Case law means that another similar case or same type of case has to be treated the same as that previous case/court ruling.
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