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The First Amendment

Most people in our country know that the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. However, most of our citizens know little or nothing of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson once claimed, "A democracy cannot be both ignorant and free." Without more knowledge and in depth understanding of our rights we are risking our freedom. The idea that information should be shared among the citizens of a new country was a belief and attitude commonly held by the men who settled the United States. They were, for their time, "enlightened" at least on the issue of sharing information. 

The First Amendment to the Constitution is a part of the Bill of Rights which consists of the first ten amendments. Those amendments contain procedural and substantive guarantees of individual liberties and further limit government control and intervention. The First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a state-supported church, it requires the separation of Church and State, while guaranteeing freedom of worship and of speech and of the press. It further guarantees the rights of the People to assemble in a peaceful fashion and to associate with each other and to petition their government for relief from grievances. The First Amendment reads as follows:"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."At first blush, the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment seem absolute. However, the United States Supreme Court has limited those rights so as to protect the rights of others. An example of this would be libelous language or speech that is intended to cause violence sometimes called "fighting words" which are not protected by the First Amendment's right to speak freely. Also, words immediately jeopardizing National Security or newspapers publishing false and defamatory material that is libelous. Most citizens now believe that speech and expression should be free, with reasonable limits, and as such is not a luxury of our democracy but it is now recognized as a necessity. 

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Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law

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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law