Supreme Court Debates Constitutionality of Banning Cross-Burning

December 12, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

On December 12, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "yesterday's Supreme Court oral argument over Virginia's law banning cross-burning produced an intense discussion of whether the Constitution permits states to prohibit political symbols that strike fear in the hearts of many citizens... The court's only African American, Thomas broke his customary silence during oral argument to drive home the point that the history of cross burning as a symbol of Ku Klux Klan hatred and violence toward blacks, Jews and Catholics makes it uniquely threatening not only to minorities, but to others as well."