Symbolic Speech cases

6 May 2023
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Symbolic Speech
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used to describe actions that purposefully and discernibly convey a particular message or statement to those viewing it; conduct that expresses an idea
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examples of symbolic speech
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Sit-ins, flag waving, demonstrations, and wearing protest buttons
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West Virginia board of Ed vs. Barnette background
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Dad told kids not to stand for pledge of allegiance because they were Jehovah witnesses; Kids got expelled for not standing Dad Sued board of education Compelling public schoolchildren to salute the flag was unconstitutional
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West Virginia board of Ed vs. Barnette decision
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Dad lost- Justice decided- bc time of war, nation needs to be united
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Texas vs. Johnson background
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Johnson burned flag outside republican convention in texas Court ruled in favor No direct message/threat Wasn't dangerous
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Texas vs. Johnson decision
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Court found that Johnson's actions fell into the category of expressive conduct and had a distinctly political nature. The fact that an audience takes offense to certain ideas or expression, the Court found, does not justify prohibitions of speech