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Lawyer Resource Center: The First Amendment

Lawyer Resource Center: The First Amendment

The First Amendment protects a peoples' right to worship, speak, publish, petition and associate as they see fit. The Establishment clause of religion forbids Congress to establish a national religion or to prefer one to another. The amendment also protects the right of citizens to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech covers the right to voice hate, sexism and racism. The freedom to print and distribute opinions is protected under freedom of press. Freedom of press is restricted to defamation and copyright legislation.

Unlike other countries, people in the United States can petition all branches of government without retaliation. The freedom to petition and assembly provide Americans with the right to come together to defend their interests. The first amendment guarantees religious and expression freedom. To many these freedoms can be ambiguous and have faced many challenges. Throughout history, Supreme Court cases have shown the challenges of the first amendment.

Bill of Rights

Establishment of Religion

Free Exercise of Religion

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of the Press

Petition and Assembly

Freedom of Association

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