Case Comparison: Free Speech

Tinker v. Des Moines & Texas v. Johnson

Tinker v. Des Moines

Overview

John and Mary Beth Tinker were students in Des Moines, Iowa, who were suspended for refusing to remove the black armbands they wore to protest against American involvement in the Vietnam War.


Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled that wearing the armbands are a legal representation of symbolic speech and that forcing the students to remove the armbands violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Texas v. Johnson

Overview

While at a Republican National Convention, Gregory Johnson doused an American Flag in kerosene and set it on fire.Many witnesses claimed that the incident offended them and Johnson was then arrested.


Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled that Johnson's flag burning was a from of symbolic speech and is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Freedom of Speech: Crash Course Government and Politics #25