Amendments

numbers one and eight

Amendment 1: Personal Freedoms

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.


The 1st Amendment Song

freedom of religion

Freedom of religion is the right to worship as you choose. The amendment separates church and state. Freedom of religion was established because of King George III made everyone support his religion: Anglican or otherwise known as The Church of England. People wanted to have the freedom to choose their own religion. Freedom of religion was currently disputed in the case Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools vs. Mergens. The school wouldn't allow a teacher to sponsor a Christian Club formed by a group of students, because they believed it supported a particular religion.The supreme court ruled on allowing this club, because it does not boost this religion or put down any others. If I had the chance to offer my opinion I would just limit how religion can be expressed. I don't think people should have the right to make groups that speak or do bad things to a particular religion.

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is the right to speak as you wish. Libel and slander are prohibited in this amendment. Freedom of speech was created because during the colonial times speech was very restricted. Criticizing the government was considered a serious crime. The case Feiner vs. New York was about Irving Feiner who created an assembly of people and began to speak harshly about President Truman. He claimed his right to free speech when he was arrested. The supreme court ruled his arrest did not mess with free speech and was constitutional. Freedom of speech affects the modern world greatly. Many people use freedom of speech to protest against things they dislike or fine unfair.

Freedom of the press

Freedom of the press is the right to share information through the radio, newspaper, magazines, and more as you wish. The reason for freedom of the press was during the Stamp Act the newspapers usually couldn't publish their own ideas, they printing past things. I the case: Hazelwood School District vs. Kuhlmeier school officials wanted to censor the school sponsored newspaper. He accused them of prior restraint, but he court ruled against him, because the newspaper was part of school curriculum not for public use. Freedom of the press affects us today, because as technology expands there are more and more ways to quickly publish or share information. This amendment protects us from prior restraint, libel, and slander.

Freedom to assembly

Freedom to assembly mean the right to gather in groups and discuss. Freedom to assembly is included in the Bill of Rights because in the colonial period people where not allowed to assemble. The government was afraid they were trying to overthrow them. Freedom of assembly is currently used in the case Hague vs. C.I.O for disorderly conduct even though it was a peaceful demonstration. Hague was found innocent. Freedom to assembly is very important because it gives citizens the right to assemble and share their ideas.

Right to petition

The right to petition means the right to make suggestions to the government. In history right to petition goes back to the Magna Carta in 1215. A current example is in John Doe #1 vs. Reed, where the supreme court ruled on keeping a disclosure of the names of signers. I support the right to petition because it is a peaceful way to display your ideas.

AMENDMENT 2: right to bear arms

The 2nd Amendment -- We're Not Gonna Take it Anymore
The right to bear arms is the right to protect yourself from harm. The amendment claims all people have this right. The founders believed giving the colonists the right to bear arms would help if a tyrant every came. They wanted everyone to be ready for a future attack. In the colonial times not everyone had or could have guns. The limits of how far the right to bear arms can stretch is currently disputed. The founders did not imagine the current circumstances. In the case Stevens vs. United States this right was disputed between whether it applied to states or individuals. I think there should be more restrictions on the right to bear arms. One of the main problems are shootings occurring everywhere. More limits should be made.