Texas v. Johnson: Freedom of Speech


The Founders did not think the right to freedom of speech encompassed every conceivable utterance or writing. Accordingly, the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause is meant to protect political speech. Over time, however, the Supreme Court has placed various forms of symbolic speech—also known as expressive conduct—under the protection of the First Amendment.


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Stephen J. Markman is a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and a distinguished visiting lecturer of politics at Hillsdale College. Justice Markman received his B.A. from Duke University and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.