First Amendment Originally Stated
Freedom of Speech
The right to express whatever you want, except in case of slander, libel, or national security. The king would not let the colonists speak freely. For example, when the colonists expressed themselves by dumping the tea in the harbor, the king made consequences so severe, the colonists felt like they had no freedom of speech. The Vietnam War protesters burned the flag to express their anger. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled the burning of the flag expression as a form of speech, and was covered by amendment 1 of the constitution. I believe that the burning of the flag should be allowed, because the expression is a form of free speech. Even though I disapprove of burning of the flag, it is a form of free speech.
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of speech is the right to worship any religion you want, or no religion at all. The founding fathers made freedom of religion, because in England, the English would not let them worship freely, so instead of having a monarchy, the founding fathers gave birth to a democracy. The Westside Community School vs. Mergens the kids wanted to create Christian Club for their high school. The school denied the children's request, because they did not want to support the religion. In a 8-1 decision the Supreme Court decided that the students were allowed to create a Catholic Club. I believe that the Supreme Court is right, because everybody has the right to free religion, and if the kids want to open up a religious club, they should be able too.
Freedom of Press
The freedom of press means that the press can publish anything that they want without the government censoring the information, except for libel, slander, and endangering national security. The colonists had limited press, and laws that prevented them from publishing most things. In United States vs. New York Times the Supreme Court allowed the paper the publish the classified Pentagon Papers, even though President Nixon requested the Supreme Court not too. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment covered the paper printing the classified information. I believe that the newspaper is not allowed to print out classified information, because that is endangering the national security.
Freedom of Press Political Cartoon
This cartoon shows that most other countries do not have the rights like the freedom of press, and have to be careful what they say.
Freedom to Assemble
The right for people to gather, meet, discuss and protest ideas freely without consequences. The British did not allow the colonists to gather, meet, discuss or protest ideas without severe consequences. The Occupy Wall Street took a portion of New York too eat, sleep, live, and protest. They were given the right to assemble and protest, because it was protected under the first amendment, but were eventually forced out by the city because they were becoming hazardous and a nuisance to the citizens. I believe that Occupy Wall Street is allowed to assemble and protest in New York, but they should not be allowed to live their.
Freedom to Assemble Picture
This picture shows that the people have the right to gather or meet, and protest against the government.
Right to Petition
The right to petition gives the people the right to ask the government to change its laws. When the colonists sent a petition to the king about direct taxation without representation, the king declared the colonists with treason. In the Edwards vs. South Carolina, an 8-1 Supreme Court decision overturned the convictions on 180 black students petitioning for a stop in discrimination. The students peacefully marched to the capitol and protested discrimination. They were arrested, for the cause of potential riot. I believe that the Supreme Court is right because the kids have peacefully marched down to the capitol, and have not caused any harm. Also, I believe that they are protected under Amendment 1, by the right to petition.
Right to Petition Picture
This picture shows how people can send a petition to the government to change its laws.