PA205: Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing, Unit One, Assignment
1) The case study references section 42.09 (a)(3) of the Texas Penal Code. The statute prohibits the desecration of a venerable object.
3) The passage discusses the court case that involved State V. Johnson (Gregory Lee Johnson)
4) The three courts that heard this case:
1) Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (most authority)
2) Texas Court of Appeals
3) Dallas County Criminal Court (least authority)
5) Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)
6) The Texas statute was struck down since the Supreme Court ruled it was inconsistent with the First Amendment.
7) Statutory law are law passed by sending a bill by passing it through a legislative body. Statutes are created when original court cases are heard and ruled upon. Case law is created by rulings that are a result of examining statutes. Case law can either uphold the original statute or strike it down. Case law turns out to be an interpretation, or a “second look” at statutes, determining whether or not they uphold the U.S. Constitution.
It seems to me that statutes can be either struck down after interpretation or continue to be enforced. If someone challenges the statute, it could travel all the way to the Supreme Court to be interpreted. The Supreme Court can provide a decision whether that statute is being applied in a constitutional manner.
In the passage we read, the state tried Johnson with a statute that eventually was struck down because it was inconsistent with the translation of the First Amendment. So, statutes can be amended or changed if not acceptable. If they are found to be consistent with the U.S. Constitution, they can stay in affect.