Sunday, December 8, 2013

United States v. Eichman case brief

United States v. Eichman case brief summary
496 U.S. 310 (1990)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Two cases were consolidated for appeal from United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and for the Western District of Washington, holding defendants could not be constitutionally be held liable for burning United States flag in violation of Flag Protection Act of 1989, 18 U.S.C.S. § 700.

CASE FACTS
Defendants in separate cases were prosecuted for burning a United States flag in violation of the Flag Protection Act of 1989 (the Act). In both cases, the district courts dismissed the charges on the grounds that the Act, both on its face and as applied, violated the First Amendment of the Constitution. The United States appealed both decisions directly to the Supreme Court pursuant to the Act.

DISCUSSION
  • The Supreme Court affirmed, holding the government's interest in preserving the flag's function as an incident of sovereignty could not justify the Act's infringement on the constitutional right of free speech by suppressing expression out of concern for its likely communicative impact.
CONCLUSION
The Supreme Court affirmed holding the government's interest in preserving the flag's function as an incident of sovereignty could not justify the Flag Protection Act's infringement on the constitutional right of free speech by suppressing expression out of concern for its likely communicative impact.

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