The Importance of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

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Thesis statement

The first amendment is important because it does not let the government arrest you for expressing your beliefs because it is a right given by God to protect the people. Amendment I Congress shall make no laws 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. Outline BackgroundReason for an introduction and political and political information key people involved in promotion and writing of the amendment.


This amendment was set to protect our rights from the government. Which allows you to speak, print and worship who and how you want. The first amendment is important because it does not let the government arrest you for expressing your beliefs because it is a right given by God to protect the people.( The first amendment talks about “ congress shall make no laws respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.” This protect their freedom of religion by allowing citizen to worship who and how they want to. The second way is by not allowing the government to create an official church.( “Separation of church and state” is not in the constitution or the amendment this was an opinion of Thomas jefferson in 1802. There has been a lot of cases dealing with freedom of religion including prayer in school first aid and polygamy. polygamy is when a man wants to have more than one wife. The other limit is first aid parents has refused to take their child to the doctor because of their religion. When this happens the government has the right to step in and to get the child the service it needs. ( The limits on free speech was set by a man named Charles Schenck. Charles schenck was an antiwar activists who told people to ignore their draft notice. The United States sought this as an that threatened national security. The court came to a ruling that if one free speech was endangering the United States security that their free speech would not be protected. There a few types of free speech that would not be protected such as blackmail,fighting words, true threats, defamation, perjury and obscenity( After this the court made three main ways free speech can be portrayed. They were called pure speech speech-plus and symbolic speech. Pure speech is someone's opinion and thoughts.pure speech is the most protected in a court case. Speech-plus is usually protest.

The court does not like to protect this one because most times they can get violent, involve trespassing and disrupting traffic. Last one is symbolic speech this does not involve speech something like a hood or bandana.( Just a few years ago people were wearing hoods in school because of a kid by the name of Trayvon martin. He was a kid who was shot and killed because of wearing a hood in a store. The following weeks kids were wearing hoods in school this would count as symbolic speech. There was another case in 1989 called “Texas vs Johnson decision” when the supreme court allowed a man to burn a american flag.( Freedom of assembly and petition has almost completely fallen under under freedom of speech. This originally started in Great Britain when people wanted to petition the king. The meaning of petition is to talk about the to the government. This why this is usually counted as freedom of speech. In 1642 massachusetts became the first to protect the right to petition.( After this five more colonies had started to protect the right to petition by the revolution. The five colonies were North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Delaware and New Hampshire. When petition were first started to be sent in they were very important.

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The name of them were called committees.( Petition were big in the colonies caused they were alwayed answered but rarely granted. The government wanted to started to set limits on petition but realized that it was just like freedom of speech and they cannot make laws on what or how they can petition. This was just a way that people could talk to the government.( The executive branch had the choice to answered the petitions. When the petition first started The House of Representatives made time to solve these petition but now they really don't care. The House started to send them to the committees. The committee's never answered or rejected most of them. People were mostly sending petitions about slavery and most of those had gotten banned or never answered.( Freedom of press is the freedom to post your opinions. This gives you the right to post what you find out the internet without the government threatening you to take it down.

Freedom of press applies to everything books, newspaper ,pamphlets,movies, and other thing that people post or wright. Overs the years the people have been concerned about extremely aggressive journalism. This include when people post celebrities in their home or some where private.( The government cannot pass laws that will make them identify their source or publish anything against their will. They also can not pass laws that exempt them from coming to cases and print on them. Also it's ok for them to write on a subject that can damage their reputation. Only in some cases they can pass laws that “impose taxes on the press that it does not levy on other businesses.(


pros of the first amendment is that without it “congress and the states may regulate set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidate and others to influence elections.” This means that congress can pick a person to regulate the election and this means the election can go in there favor. All papers printed would have to be in present tense they could not be in the future and could not speak on if they would win or lose. Also could not print anything that would influence the election.( Section two of the proposed amendment would not let candidate use money to help their side of the election. This would not have let Hillary Clinton made her movie in 2008 and would have been banned. This mean they could ban any pamphlets and others sources of promotion of the campaign paid by them. In 1958 there was a civil right case called NAACP VS Alabama where they did an anonymous political speech. Without the first amendment congress would not grant the non-profit groups any power. This would only gave newspapers the right to post about the world and president. This would not let anyone else post and would be threatened to take the article down.

Impact today

The main influences on the first amendment in the 21th century is providing service for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The people are using their freedom of religion to try to discriminate against them. Some bakeries will not make a wedding cake for same sex marriage claiming that it is there right under freedom of religion. Schools will fire women if they are pregnant out of wedlock. Some pharmacies not filling birth control and some bridal places are not doing any service with the same sex. All these places are using this as a way to discriminate against gays. This is the same as in the 1960 when people believed that God wanted colored separated. ( There was a case on December 5th about a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same sex couple. The couple walked in and asked for a cake and the baker said due to his religion he could not make the cake. On the following day the couple filed a lawsuit for their anti discrimination statute being violated. The couple asked for a rainbow cake he did not hear anything else and just assumed that the cake supported gay pride or same sex marriage. ( The judge asked if the cake was already made and they asked for it uncustomized would you have sold them the cake. He said that his cake were unique work made to order and his beliefs would not allow his to make the cake. “Auto repair is made to order. If the limousine has engine trouble, would the mechanic have a first amendment right to refuse service?” So the judge said in this case that he was decimating against the gay couple. (


The greatest impact of this amendment is how people can write what they want say what they want and act how they want. Without this amendment we would be like another country where they can't post anything about the government. The United states can post about trump and what he does and not be charged with treason. It is amazing how much freedom we have and we take it for granted. People will have a chance to use the internet to get their voice heard. This amendment lets you do that and people use their voice for good. The worst part is that the news does not like to post the good only want to get the worst part heard. It's crazy how the news talks about how kids used social media in a bad way and caused a kid to commit suicide for a weeks. Then you have a man who sacrificed his own truck to stop a speeding car in the middle of a park full of kids and the news covered this story two times. The first one was the wreck and the second one was when a company's heard his story and how he could not afford the repairs and started to donate parts to rebuild his parts. This is good cause we could not have any news on the community and strictly on the presidents or the business side of the world. This amendment is pretty effective it has cases when the first day it was passed until this day and more are to come in the future. It has cases that actually goes against the amendment and this shows how they enforce it. Its shows how something is important and fought for years can be fought against. It's important that just because the first amendment is used it is not always right in certain cases. People try to use the first amendment for their own good and take advantage of people and it does not work.

Work cited

“First Amendment Rights.”, Independence Hall Association,“Home.” Religious Freedom Center,, Edmin Meese, et al. “The Heritage Guide to The Constitution.” Guide to the Constitution,!/amendments/1/essay/freedom-of-assembly-and-petion.

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