1st Amendment

By: Courtney Beaver

An overview:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. 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 interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, 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. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

Two Clauses

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The Established clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.

More about 1st Amendment

What is the complete text of the Equal Rights Amendment?

-Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

-The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

-This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.