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The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States

Constitution was adopted on December 15, 171, as one o! the ten


amendments that constitute the "i## o! $i%hts&
The First Amendment reads as !o##ows'
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
In other words, no #aw can be made to pre(ent a person !rom creatin%
or practicin% a re#i%ion) a## peop#e are a##owed to spea*, write or
pub#ish their thou%hts !ree#+) a## peop#e are a##owed to peace!u##+
%ather to protest an+ issue) and a## peop#e can spea* !ree#+ to the
%o(ernment about their concerns and comp#aints, and petition the
%o(ernment to reconsider a #e%a# decision that it made&
Assignment for the next class: $ead the ,uestions be#ow& Thin*
about how the+ re#ate to the First Amendment& Choose one that +ou
!ind interestin%, and present +our thou%hts and opinions to the c#ass
in a brie! presentation& C#ass discussion wi## !o##ow +our presentation&
1& -erhaps +ou heard o! .dward Snowden& In summar+, he is the
+oun% American man (now /1 and e0i#ed in $ussia) who wor*ed !or
the 1ationa# Securit+ A%enc+ (1SA) and Centra# Inte##i%ence A%enc+
(CIA) as a computer specia#ist& A coup#e o! +ears a%o, he disc#osed
e0treme#+ secret and shoc*in% in!ormation to the press (newspaper),
a!ter he disco(ered the US %o(ernment re,uired 2eri3on to hand o(er
mi##ions o! Americans4 recorded phone ca##s, and had accessed
persona# computer in!ormation !rom some o! the bi%%est ser(er
corporations& 5e was ab#e to e0p#ain how this was done, and that it
was done to innocent peop#e, not terrorists or crimina#s under
in(esti%ation, a#thou%h the %o(ernment asserts it is !or the sa*e o!
nationa# securit+& 5e reported this in!ormation to a 6ourna#ist and said
in the newspaper inter(iew, 7I don4t want to #i(e in a societ+ who can
do these thin%s&8 And the press pub#ished it& 9ou can !ind more
in!ormation about this case on#ine& 5owe(er, do +ou thin* he, and the
press, 6eopardi3ed the sa!et+ and securit+ o! the US, e(en thou%h the
First Amendment a##ows !reedom o! speech and press:
;& In +our opinion, does the First Amendment a##ow !or a student to
wear a t<shirt that sa+s, 7=e Shou#d >i## A## the ?e0ican Immi%rants@8
to schoo#:
/& This is a h+pothetica# scenario' A compan+ is owned b+ a (er+
re#i%ious !ami#+ with (er+ traditiona# (a#ues& The+ #earn that one o!
their unmarried emp#o+ees, who has an e0ce##ent wor* record, is
#i(in% with her bo+!riend) their !aith does not condone this and the+
want to !ire her& Accordin% to the First Amendment, do the+ ha(e this
ri%ht:
A& True stor+' A #ar%e %atherin% o! an anti<%a+ or%ani3ation protested
at the !unera# and buria# o! a %a+ so#dier, *i##ed in batt#e& The+
%athered across the street !rom the cemeter+, seein% the so#dier4s
!ami#+ and !riends %rie(in%, and a#thou%h the+ did not shout #oud#+,
+ou cou#d sti## hear them and see the si%ns that had 7stron%8
#an%ua%e about %a+ peop#e& Do +ou thin* the+ were brea*in% the
#aw:
5& A !ami#+ names their bab+ Ado#ph 5it#er& Is that their First
Amendment ri%ht: