Amendment Project

By: Grace Luciano

Amendment One

Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, and Assembly

"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."


Amendment One- Freedom of Religion

Explanation

The First Amendment protects the right of Americans to worship as they please, or, if they prefer to have no religion at all. The Bill of Rights clearly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Therefore Congress may not make any laws prohibiting the practicing of any certain religion, and they may not make a law where the people cannot practice it peacefully.


Historical

Freedom of Religion was added to the Bill of Rights, because without it people could not practice what they believe in and they could not practice it peacefully. Without Freedom of Religion there would only be one religion, and people would rebel if they were not apart of it.


Current Use

In Vatican City people critized a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that affirms employers' right to limit the expression of religious beliefs in the workplace when it conflicts with equality laws.

Opinion with support

I believe that it is a wrong ruling, because the Bill of Rights states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." So the European Court of Human Rights should not be allowed to limit the amount of expression of religious beliefs in the workplace just because it conflicts with laws.


Amendment One- Freedom of Speech

Explanation
The government cannot prevent individuals from freely expressing their opinions. Therefore, citizens have the right to criticize the government and to spread unpopular ideas. Freedom of speech is not unlimited. So, laws prohibit slander and libel. Slander is false speech intended to damage a persons reputation. Libel applies to written or published statements. Also you cannot endanger the nation by giving away military secrets or calling for the violent overthrow of the government.

Historical
Freedom of Speech was added to the Bill of Rights because the Founding Fathers believed that if freedom of speech was not included in the Bill of Rights then many people would rebel and would not be held against it. If the government did not prevent individuals from freely expressing their opinions then many people would be violent with their actions.


Current Use
In the University of Wisconsin-Stout a professor posted a picture of actor Nathan Fillion. He was forced to take it down by the police, because it mentioned "killing". He protested by holding up a poster that said "Hate Speech is not Free Speech." He was then reported to the Universities "threat assessment team".

Opinion with support

I believe that this situation was handled just as expected, because this professor disobeyed the Bill of Rights, and his disrupted the peace of the university. So, in order to show him he was incorrect he was sent to the "threat assessment team".

Amendment One- Freedom of Press

Explanation

Freedom of Press is when the Press can publish anything they want in the newspapers, books, radio, television, and to some extent, movies and the internet without the consent of the government.


Historical

Freedom of Press was added to the Bill of Rights because without it citizens would not know how people are reacting to the current events. Also, there would not be much to write about if people's opinions were not included.


Current Use

There are many current uses of violations of Freedom of Speech. For example the staff of the Central Connecticut State University student-run newspaper printed 150 copies of their newspaper "The Recorder".The editor of The Recorder, Nicholas Proch, walked into the Student Center were the newspapers were usually printed, all three racks of the newspaper was gone. Thinking he had been robbed Nicholas filed a police report. It turns out the Men's Soccer Coach stole the newspaper, because he was upset with what had been printed about the Men's Soccer team.


Opinion with support

I believe that what the Men's soccer coach did was irresponsible and wrong. In the First Amendment it clearly states that "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..." Therefore the newspaper can print whatever they want, if the Soccer Coach felt that something had been printed that was untrue or false he should have talked to the editor rather than stealing all the newspaper and no coming clean about his crime.

Amendment One- Freedom of Assembly

Explanation

Freedom of Assembly is the right to assemble in groups and hold demonstrations, pass out pamphlets, hold meetings, and peaceably advertise their beliefs. However, just like most rights these are not unlimited. In order to hold an assembly you must have a permit.


Historical

Freedom of Assembly was added to the Bill of Rights, because without it people would not be able to talk about the current events peacefully and uninterrupted. Also, if Freedom of Assembly was not included in the Bill of Rights ideas would not be shared and discussed, and history would be greatly changed.


Current Use

The Young Front group has been assembling since 1997 every year on Valentines Day. This year, many people gathered from Belarus's Youth Front movement and other youth organizations on Minsk's Yakub Kolas Square. The organizers applied for permission to hold the meeting, but this time their application was turned down. The gathering was harmless and peaceful, yet the police and Special Forces blocked the organizers way as they tried to march. The police and special forces ended up injuring three youth activists because of the brawl.


Opinion with support

I believe that it was not handled right. This demonstration was held every year since 1997 and then the police and special forces decide to close it down. I believe that the organizers and other participants did the right thing because they just wanted peace and were not trying to cause trouble.


Amendment Two

Bearing Arms

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Amendment Two- Bearing Arms

Explanation

This amendment in the Bill of Rights makes sure that citizens have the right to security.


Historical

The amendment was originally created to prevent the national government from repeating actions that the British took. Before the revolution the British attempted to take away weapons from the militia.


Current Use

On July 2nd William Duncan pulled into the Holiday Inn with two handguns that were loaded and stored under his seat. A police approached him and asked if he had any weapons in the car. He told the truth and said he did and that they were loaded. Hotel security, D.C police, federal agents, and a swat team followed him to a jail were he spent the next three days. He said it was unfair and wrong because he had a Tennessee handgun carry permit.


Opinion with Support

I believe that the police should have asked for the permit before placing William Duncan in prison, because they did not ask for a reason as to why the guns were in his possession and why they were loaded. However, they were just trying to keep the people in the hotel safe and out of harms way and I believe they did that very well.