Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Supremes say No to cross-burning, sort of

Justice O’Connor just handed down the following ruling in Virginia v. Black:

We conclude that while a State, consistent with the First Amendment, may ban cross burning carried out with the intent to intimidate, the provision in the Virginia statute treating any cross burning as prima facie evidence of intent to intimidate renders the statute unconstitutional in its current form. (Emphasis added)

Here’s the link to all five opinions:

Virginia v. Black

The case affirmed, vacated, and remanded parts of the lower court decision, which led to an interesting separate dissent by Thomas and concurring dissent by Scalia (joined in part by Thomas), in addition to Stevens’s concurrence and Souter’s concurring dissent (how do you like this phrase?).

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