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Press and Speech






"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble; and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." --First Amendment to the United States Constitution                                                              

            The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference.  Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court tells us how far these rights may be extended.


bill-of-rights.jpg (338512 bytes) Text  version

 The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only literally applied to Congress. In addition, the Court has interpreted the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state  governments.  


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