PA205: Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing
Prof. Wendi Cline
November 13, 2014
Heather Leigh Bradley
1. The case study references one state statute. Identify it and explain what it
“The case study of State vs. Johnson references one specific state statue, 42.09(a)(3) of the Texas Penal Code, Desecration of a Venerated Object. A person commits an offense if he/she intentionally or knowingly desecrates, a state or national flag. “Desecrate” means to deface, damage, destroy, vandalize and/or mistreat in a way that the actor knowingly will greatly offend one or more persons are like to observe or discover his/her action. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor “(Case Study Texas vs. Johnson, 2014). The statue prohibits intentionally or knowingly desecrating, destroying, damaging, burning, mistreating of a state or national flag in public that will seriously offend one or more persons and is witnessed by one or more persons. This statue was made to prohibit only flagrant acts of flag desecration that take place in a public setting or place (Case Study Texas vs. Johnson, 2014). 2. Which branch of government created the state statute?
The state statue, 42.09(a)(3) of the Texas Penal Code, Desecration of a Venerated Object, was created under legislative branch. The State’s interest is to prevent a breach of peace by prohibiting certain acts of flag desecration have been considered to be unrelated to the suppression of freedom of speech, the First Amendment of the Constitution. 3. The passage above also discusses one court case. Who were the parties
involved in the case?
The other case was held in the Supreme Court of the United States in the
October Term, 1988. The petitioner was The State of Texas and the respondent
was Gregory Lee 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
The final state court to see the case was the Texas Court of criminal Appeals, this s the highest state court. Then the second court it was seen in was the Texas Court of Appeals, Fifth District. The case was first seen in Dallas County Criminal Court. 5. Provide the citation for the United States Supreme Court’s decision in this
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision in favor of Johnson. The high court agreed that symbolic speech, no matter how offensive is protected under the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Texas v. Johnson Podcast, 2014). 6. What effect did the United States Supreme Court’s decision have on the Texas
“The First Amendment protections on symbolic speech prevent states from banning desecrations of the American flag“ (Texas v. Johnson 491 U.S. 397 (1989), 2014). The Court also held that the Government and the States couldn’t prohibit the expression of ones idea or thoughts just because society finds it offensive or disagreeable (Texas v. Johnson, 2011) The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Congress did pass a statue, the 1989 Flag Protection Act that made it a federal crime to desecrate the flag. Then again that law was struck down again in the case of United States v. Eichmann, 496 U.S. 310 (1990) by the same majority of justice, as they did in the case Texas v. Johnson. The states goal was to prevent breaches of peace, not just breaches associated with flag desecration. The court ruled that the Texas statue was inconsistent with the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and the Court struck down the statue in Texas (Texas v. Johnson, 2014). The Statue was considered to be unconstitutional and removed from Texas Statue. The difference between case law...
Citations: 1. Case Study Texas vs. Johnson. (2014, November 09). Retrieved November
15, 2014, from http://law.duke.edu/curriculum/appellateadvocacy/petBrief.html
2. Statute. (2014). Retrieved November 18, 2014, from http://legal-
3. Texas v. Johnson Podcast. (2014). Retrieved November 17, 2014, from
4. Texas v. Johnson. (2014, November 18). Retrieved November 18, 2014, from
5. Texas v. Johnson 491 U.S. 397 (1989). (2014). Retrieved November 17, 2014,
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