Brief Fact Summary. O’Brien (Petitioner) was prosecuted for burning his draft card.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When speech and non-speech combine in the same course of conduct, an important governmental interest in regulating the non-speech justifies incidental limitation on speech.
Issue. Is the federal regulation prohibiting the burning of draft cards an unconstitutional prohibition of “symbolic speech”?
Held. No. Congress has a legitimate interest in preventing the destruction of draft cards as they are used as an identification card and proof of registry.
A bill of attainder is a legislative Act which inflicts punishment on named individuals or members of an easily ascertainable group without a judicial trial.View Full Point of Law