Amendments 1 and 2
By Lisbeth Rubin
Amendment 1--Freedom of Speech
"Congress shall make no law respecting 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."
The First Amendment is one of the most important amendments in the Bill of Rights. It protects your right to many things, including freedom of speech. Even though you have the right to freedom of speech, it doesnt mean you can say anything you want. Freedom of speech is not unlimited. Laws passed by Congress prohibit libel and slander. Slander is intentionally speaking bad about someone. Libel is purposely damaging people in published articles and statements.
Freedom of Speech in the News--Morse vs. Frederick
History of Freedom of speech
Amendment 1--Freedom of Religion
Freedom of Religion in the news
Freedom of religion was first applied as a principle of government in the founding of the colony of Maryland, founded by the Catholic Lord Baltimore. Lord Baltimore drafted a document to convince the Congress to include Religion of Freedom in their pending Constitution. "No person or persons...shall from henceforth be any waies troubled, molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion nor in the free exercise thereof." The Maryland Toleration Act was repealed during the Cromwellian Era. In its place, a new law barring Catholics from openly practicing their religion. After many protests, Lord Baltimore regained control after making a deal with the colony's Protestants and the act was again passed by the colonial assembly.
Amendment 1--Freedom of the Press
Freedom of the Press is defined as "the right to publish newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter without governmental restriction and subject only to the laws of libel, obscenity, sedition, etc." Freedom of the Press prohibits the government from interfering with printing and distribution of private media company's information.
Freedom of the Press in the News
The inside front cover of the November 1983 issue of Hustler Magazine featured a "parody" of an advertisement for Campari Liqueur that contained the name and picture of Jerry Falwell. The Hustler parody portrays Falwell and his mother as drunk and agressive and suggests that Falwell is a hypocrite who preaches only when he is drunk. In small print at the bottom of the page, the ad contains the disclaimer, "ad parody is not to be taken seriously." The magazine's table of contents also lists the ad as "Fiction; Ad and Personality Parody." Soon after the November issue of Hustler became available to the public, Falwell took action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia against Hustler Magazine. He stated in his complaint that publication of the ad parody in Hustler entitled him to receive damages for invasion of privacy and "intentional infliction of emotional distress." The case proceeded to trial. At the close of the case, the District Court decided verdict for petitioners on the invasion of privacy claim. The jury ruled for Jerry Falwell on the "intentional infliction of emotional distress" claim. They decided he should be awarded $100,000 in compensatory damages. The Court decided that Freedom of Press cannot extend to printing false and/or private information.