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FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.

Symbolic Speech

symbolic speech n

: conduct that is intended to convey a particular message which is likely to be understood by those viewing it [it is well established that wearing certain clothing can be a form of protected symbolic speech "City of Harvard v. Gaut, 660 N.E.2d 259 (1996)"] compare commercial speech, pure speech NOTE: Symbolic speech is entitled to free speech protection under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution unless its regulation is within the constitutional power of the government and is justified by an important government interest, and the restriction placed on it by regulation is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest.



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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