Virginia v. Black
December 11, 2002 (01-1107)
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Case Summary
Three defendants were prosecuted for burning a cross under Va. Code 18.2-423. One defendant was prosecuted after a Ku Klux Klan rally and two other defendants were arrested after attempting to burn a cross on a neighbor's private property. All of the defendants challenge the cross-burning statute, Va. Code 18.2-4.23, which states: "[i]t shall be unlawful for any person or persons, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, to burn or cause to be burned, a cross on the property of another, a highway or other public place." Defendants challenged the constitutionality of the statute on the basis of viewpoint and content discrimination in violation of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court of Virginia reversed Defendants' convictions and found the cross-burning statute facially unconstitutional because it selectively addressed the content of symbolic speech and was overbroad. The opinion of the Supreme Court of Virginia is found at 262 Va. 764, 553 S.E. 2d 738.

To see the opinion of the lower court, click here.


PREDICTED OUTCOME ACTUAL
OUTCOME
Forecasting
Model
Expert
One
Expert
Two
Expert
Three
9-0 to Reverse 5-4 to Affirm 5-4 to Reverse 6-3 to Affirm 6-3 to Reverse
VOTING TO REVERSE
Rehnquist
Stevens
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Souter
Thomas
Ginsburg
Breyer
Stevens
O'Connor
Ginsburg
Breyer
Stevens
O'Connor
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Stevens
O'Connor
Breyer
Rehnquist
Stevens
O'Connor
Scalia
Thomas
Breyer
VOTING TO AFFIRM
Rehnquist
Scalia
Kennedy
Souter
Thomas
Rehnquist
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Rehnquist
Scalia
Kennedy
Souter
Thomas
Ginsburg
Kennedy
Souter
Ginsburg

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