The First Amendment

Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion, Assembly and Petition

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.

What does this mean for you?  It means that Congress can't create a law that prohibits your right to the following freedoms: speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition. This is the most well known Amendment to the Constitution, but it is also an Amendment that many people take for granted.  Your freedom of speech does not give you the right to take away other people's rights. To learn more visit this link, and click on the phrase "or abridging the freedom of speech." An explanation will appear in the lower box. By using this information, answer the following questions on your answer sheet.


1.  List three types of "speech" that the US Supreme Court recognizes.

2.  List the six types of speech that is not protected by the First Amendment, please define two.

Freedom of press is another right guaranteed by the First Amendment. By using the same link above, click on the phrase, "or of the press." Please answer the following questions on your answer sheet.

1. What is the definition of censorship?

2. Who was first tried for libel in the US in what became known as the first freedom of press trial?

3. What is the definition of prior restraint?

4. What is non-print media?