1st Amendment of Bill of Rights

Our Right

"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 peacebly to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievences."

A More Clear Understanding

My view

In shorter words than the actual amendment it means we have freedom of speech and that the First Amendment protects the civil liberties in the United States. The Government can't prohibit a religion, so a person can make a religion and establish a religion. There is a freedom of press where the press can say whatever they want to say. People also have the freedom to gather meetings without the Government's consent. There is a limit to freedom of speech though. If the person is using the freedom of speech to hurt someone they are not allowed to say it. Basically people can not use slander which is false speech.

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech is a political right for people to express their opinions to the government or anywhere. People demanded that they should have free speech so congress added it into the first amendment. A popular case involving free speech includes Schenck v. the Uniited States case from World War I. Antiwar activist Charles Schenck was arrested for sending leaflets to army draftees encouraging them to ignore their draft notices. The United States claimed that Schenck threatened national security, and the justices agreed. The principle was established that free speech would not be protected if an individual were a "clear and present danger" to United States security. I believe in the government limiting our free speech, because saying something stupid can hurt the public. Cases today involve people saying they are not having the right to free speech.

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of Religion is where anyone can practice their own religion or make their own religion without the government interfering, as stated in the Bill of Rights. I think that everyone should have the right to pray to their own god and that the government shouldn't try to take away people's belief. In later years, during the Restoration of Europe, John Locke was a vocal supporter of religious "toleration," citing it as key to being a true Christian. These noted beliefs were important components of and background for the establishment of religious freedom in the United States. In a case called Mitchell v. Helms where people where fighting for their freedom.

Freedom of Press

Freedom of press is the freedom of communication and expression through media such as newspapers, magazines, and more. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression without interference and give information through any media regardless of frontiers. I think this is important because without freedom of press, we would only be listening or reading to the news only the government wants us to hear and there would be no personal point of views allowed. Such as the New York Times v. the United States case. The New York Times began publishing portions of the "Pentagon Papers" (a secret Defense Department report of U.S. involvement in Vietnam). The Pentagon Papers only pertained to events up to 1968.The Nixon Administration argued that this information was useful to the enemy and might prolong the war. Therefore the government sought an injunction against the papers to prevent further publications.

Freedom to Assemble

This freedom is the right of the people to assemble or gather and speak and be heard about their opinions about any one subject. It means people are entitled to speak and be heard as long as they remain peaceful. I think this is important because we should all be allowed to voice our opinions without fear of being arrested and tortured or killed as long as it is done in a peaceful manner. Freedom of assembly derives from the principle of establishing and instituting "proper government" as outlined in the Declaration of Independence; " secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". The case Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312 (1988) concerned the limits of protest in front of a foreign group.

Right to Petition

This right is the right to make a complaint or seek help without fear of punishment. This is used to protect public participation in government and it comes from the British rule. I think this is a very important right because we should never be afraid to seek help for fear of being punished. The actual concept of petitioning the government is said to reach at least as far back as the Magna Carta, one of the first documented formal legal systems that was composed by Kingdom of England in 1215.A recent case is Kings Mall v. Wenk, which was defending the right to petition the government for redress of government.