1. I understand the “Establishment Cause” as the protection citizens have if the government decides to implement a religion as the main one of the nation, and, be forced to learn and abide by the morals and gods of that religion. About the “Lemon Test”, is a set of steps to follow to determine if a law or government action violates the establishment cause or not, the steps follow this criteria:
- The action law must not lead to excessive government entanglement with religion; in other words, policing the boundary between government and religion should be relatively straightforward and not require extensive effort by the government.
- The action or law cannot either inhibit or advance religious practice; it should be neutral in its effects on religion.
- The action or law must have some secular purpose, there must be some non-religious justification for the law.
If the law or actions made by the government follows each one of these steps while being related to a religious matter, then it can be considered constitutional.
2. Burning the flag is protected by the 1st amendment because is considered a way of symbolic speech, and is also associated with a political expression, an example of this was when, in 1984 a member of a pro-communist and antiwar group called Gregory Lee Johnson was charged and convicted for “desecration of a venerated object”, however, a few years later in 1989, the Supreme Court decided that burning the flag was a way of symbolic speech, hence, this act was protected by the 1st amendment, and the law of desecration was found unconstitutional. The burning of the flag is protected but still quite controversial to the American population because it is considered a highly respected object of the nation.
3. When you express “I’m taking the fifth” it is usually translated into the right of remaining silent, this is because in the 5th amendment there is something called the right against self-incrimination. The individual who chooses his right to remain silent is opting to not give evidence to law enforcement officers or to the court that might constitute and admission of guilt or a responsibility for a crime, in fact, if an individual doesn’t testify in his own defense, the prosecutors cannot use that failure to testify as evidence of guilt or imply than innocent person would testify.