~Texas Vs. Johnson~

DOCKET NO. 88-155

~Case Info~

Petitioner: Texas


Respondent: Gregory Lee Johnson


Location: Dallas City Hall


Docket number: 88-155


Decided by: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)

~Description~

Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag as a means of protest against Reagan administration policies. Johnson was tried and convicted under a Texas law outlawing desecration. He was sentenced to one year in jail and assessed a $2,000 fine. After the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction, the case went to the supreme court.

~Questions~

One of the major questions was "Is the desecration of an American flag, by burning or otherwise, a form of speech that is protected under the First Amendment?"

~Decision~

Johnson burned the flag outside of the dallas convention center were the 1984 Republican National Convention was being held. In a 5 to 4 decision, the court held that Johnson's burning of the flag was protected expression under the first amendment.

~Sources~