1st Amendment of US Constitution

Cite this article as: Jason Mance Gordon, "1st Amendment of US Constitution," in The Business Professor, updated January 2, 2015, last accessed March 30, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/knowledge-base/1st-amendment-us-constitution/.
Video Thumbnail
1st Amendment of the Constitution
What is the 1st Amendment? The first amendment protects speech, assembly, religion, and press.

Next Article: Freedom of Religion – Establishment Clause & Free Exercise Clause

Back to: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

What is the “1st Amendment”?

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution states that, “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.”

This amendment provides for the following fundamental freedoms:

Discussion: Why do you believe the Framers decided to group these rights together? What political significance did the Framers hope to achieve through the 1st Amendment?

Discussion Input

  • The framers decided to group the US first amendment to the constitution laws because the laws in that group of four together contributes to the protection of democracy. For instance, freedom of religion allows people to believe and practice whatever religion they want. Freedom of speech and press allows people to air out their opinions publicly and to publish them without the government stopping them. Freedom of assembly allows people to gather in groups as long as they are peaceful and the right to petition the government makes it possible for people to lobby the government, point out where it does not follow vital own laws and to sue if a wrong has occurred. The framers sought not only to address the specific challenges facing the nation during their lifetimes but to establish the foundational principles that would sustain and guide the new nation into an uncertain future.

Academic Research

Campbell, Wesley, Natural Rights and the First Amendment (August 10, 2017). 127 Yale Law Journal 246 (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3016815

Solove, Daniel J., The First Amendment as Criminal Procedure. New York University Law Review, Vol. 82, p. 112, 2007; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 217. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=924900

Yakowitz Bambauer, Jane R., The Empirical First Amendment (February 20, 2018). 78 Ohio State Law Journal 947 (2017); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 17-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023396

Richards, Neil M., Reconciling Data Privacy and the First Amendment. UCLA Law Review, Vol. 52, p. 1149, 2005; Washington U. School of Law Working Paper No. 04-09-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=598370

Schauer, Frederick, The Boundaries of the First Amendment: A Preliminary Exploration of Constitutional Salience (April 2003). KSG Working Paper Series No. RWP03-024. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=405100 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.405100

Wu, Tim, Is the First Amendment Obsolete? (November 1, 2017). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-573. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3096337 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3096337

Suski, Emily, A First Amendment Deference Approach to Reforming Anti-Bullying Laws (March 8, 2017). 77 Louisiana Law Review 701 (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2929532

Trachtenberg, Ben, Private Universities and the First Amendment (May 23, 2018). 2018 Journal of Dispute Resolution 71; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3183785

Ross, Bertrall LeNarado, Partisan Gerrymandering, the First Amendment, and the Political Outsider (November 18, 2018). Columbia Law Review, Vol. 118, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3286492

Schauer, Frederick, First Amendment Opportunism (August 2000). KSG Working Paper No. 00-011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=253832 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.253832

Was this article helpful?