Legal Authority

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1.The case study references one state statute. Identify it and explain what it prohibits. Texas Penal Code Section 42.01(a)(3): Desecration of a venerable object.

2.Which branch of government (executive, judicial, or legislative) created the state statute?

This was created by the Judicial branch.

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. a.Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

b.Texas Court of Appeals Fifth District
c.Dallas County Criminal Court

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?
Johnson’s actions were protected under freedom of speech. The decision held the statute did not uphold the goal of preventing breaches of peace. The state statute was inconsistent with First Amendment and was struck down.

There are a few differences between case law and statutory law. Statutory law is passed by running a Bill through the House of Representatives and the Senate. It needs to get the required amount votes to pass it . It then needs to be signed by Governor or the President. Case law are rules and procedures that come about as a result of a court case that requires interpretation of statutory law. Statutory law can change on a whim from session to session, or even during the same session that it was produced in. To change case law takes a longer amount of time since it requires new court cases to make the new decisions used to amend the previous law.
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