Freedom of Speech - Symbolic Speech and Flag Burning - Texas v. Johnson (1989)

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Before 1989, 48 states and a federal statute outlawed desecrating the American flag. During the 1984 Republican National Convention, Johnson would participate in a protest march against some of the Reagan administration's policies, which culminated in the burning of the flag. Johnson was then arrested and charged for burning the flag, and appealed his way to the Supreme court. In the case of Texas v. Johnson, Johnson argued that Texas' anti flag burning law violated his first amendment right to freedom of speech. In this lesson students will read the opposing opinions of two Supreme court justices, determine the justice's arguments, and form their own, on a political issue that is still very relevant today.

I suggest this lesson for grades 10 and up, because it has about five pages of reading per group with some challenging vocabulary, but advanced 9th grade readers would probably be able to handle it. I would recommend spreading the lesson over two classes.
Total Pages
21
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
2 Days

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Freedom of Speech - Symbolic Speech and Flag Burning - Tex
Freedom of Speech - Symbolic Speech and Flag Burning - Tex
Freedom of Speech - Symbolic Speech and Flag Burning - Tex
Freedom of Speech - Symbolic Speech and Flag Burning - Tex
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