Symbolic Speech Supreme Court Cases

Cohen v. California
United States Supreme Court case dealing with freedom of symbolic speech. The Court overturned a man’s conviction for the crime of disturbing the peace for wearing a jacket in the public corridors of a courthouse that displayed the phrase, “F*** the Draft”.
United States v. O’Brien
A decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled that a criminal prohibition against burning a draft card did not violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The Court recognized that O’Brien’s conduct was expressive as a protest against the Vietnam War. (Symbolic Speech)
Texas v. Johnson
Decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that the defendant Gregory Lee Johnson’s act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
United States v. Eichman
United States Supreme Court case that invalidated a federal law against flag desecration as violating of free speech under the First Amendment. It was argued together with the case United States v. Haggerty. It built on the opinion handed down in the Court’s decision the prior year in Texas v. Johnson (1989), which invalidated on First Amendment grounds a Texas state statute banning flag-burning.

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