27 December 2011

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USA – First Amendment Understand Know everything about First Amendment First Amendment Soul of American Constitution

USA – First Amendment Understand Know everything about First Amendment
First Amendment Soul of American Constitution

First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference.

U.S. Constitution: First Amendment
Amendment Text –

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.

When the U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787, it did not contain the essential freedoms now outlined in the Bill of Rights, because many of the Framers viewed their inclusion as unnecessary. However, after vigorous debate, the Bill of Rights was adopted.

The first freedoms guaranteed in this historic document were articulated in the 45 words written by James Madison that we have come to know as the First Amendment.

Initially the Courts said the First Amendment applied only to the federal government but under the 14th Amendment adopted in 1868 and later Court decisions, the five freedoms of the First Amendment along with the rest of the Bill of rights have been held to apply to state and local governments as well.

The Bill of Rights — the first 10 amendments to the Constitution — went into effect on Dec. 15, 1791, when the state of Virginia ratified it, giving the bill the majority of ratifying states required to protect citizens from the power of the federal government.

James Madison is considered the Father of the First Amendment because he was its principal author along with the rest of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called the Bill of Rights.
Madison later became the fourth President of the United States.

Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes sometimes is called the father of the Modern First Amendment because his Supreme Court opinions and writings have shaped much of contemporary First Amendment Law.

The First Amendment and the other nine amendments that make up the Bill of Rights were adopted in 1791 when ratified by a majority of the states.

The amendments were adopted two years after the constitution was ratified with a promise to the American People that a Bill of Rights would be added.

The Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on December 15, 1791

“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime . . . .” — Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States, 383 U.S. 463 (1966)

“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” — Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

“First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought.”—Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Ashcroft V. Free Speech Coalition

Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856–1941), Whitney v. California, 274 U. S. 357 (1927)

The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights.
The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress.

Furthermore, the Court has interpreted the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments.

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion.

The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another.
It enforces the "separation of church and state."

The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech.
The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.

The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech.

The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief.

The Supreme Court has expressly recognized that a right to freedom of association and belief is implicit in the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

The right to associate also prohibits the government from requiring a group to register or disclose its members or from denying government benefits on the basis of an individual's current or past membership in a particular group.

The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action.

It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government.

How many freedoms are named in the First Amendment?

There are five Freedoms in the first amendment.

Freedom of
1. Religion
2. Speech
3. Press
4. Assembly
5. Petition

Does the First Amendment Protects Internet?

When did the Supreme Court first decide that the Internet is protected by the First Amendment?

The Supreme Court found that the first Amendment protects internet content in a
Reno.V.ACLU, as case in which it struck down portions of the communications Decency Act.

Does Pornography is protected by First Amendment?

Pornography can be protected as sexual expression for adults.
Movies, music and expressive dance have First Amendment protection just like books and magazines.

The Supreme Court has said school sponsored prayer is not legal because the First Amendment forbids the government from endorsing any particular religious faith, but students are free to pray themselves or in groups as long as teachers , coaches or other school officials are not involved.

American citizens are free to criticize public officials, public policies and to say what they believe.
First Amendment Protection for free speech does not apply to criminal conduct which includes things like true threats, treason and child Pornography.

American Government can set general rules about when, where and how citizens can protest in public if those rules directly linked to concerns about public safety or protecting individual rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1989 ruled 5-4 that desecration of the flag constitutes free speech protected by the First Amendment.
In 1990, Congress passed a law protecting the flag, but the Supreme Court same year in another 5-4 ruling struck that law down as unconstitutional.

Meaning of desecration –
An act of disrespect or impiety toward something regarded as sacred: blasphemy, profanation, sacrilege, violation.

The only mention of religion in the U.S. Constitution comes in Article six, where it rules out any religious test in order to run for public office.

The first Amendment religion clause the amendments first 16 words forbids the government from establishing or supporting any particular religious faith and guarantees all citizens the right to freely exercise individual religious beliefs.

Twitter, Comment on Facebook and blogging about the news also enjoy the First Amendment Protection.
The Court have tended to apply the same first amendment principles to blogs and statements made on web sites as have been applied to older forms of communication.

Talk show superstar Oprah Winfrey said Free Speech not only lives it rocks in February 1998 after jurors in Amarillo, Texas rejected a defamation lawsuit brought by Texas Cattlemen.
The lawsuit involved a 1996 winfrey television program about mad cow disease.
Cattlemen had claimed that winfrey harmed their industry by saying health concerns about the disease caused her to stop eating hamburgers.

Without First Amendment No Country can be fully a democratic nation.

First Amendment is the amendment which should be in the constitution of every country which declares it self as a democratic Nation.

Without the First Amendment, religious minorities could be persecuted, the government might well establish a national religion, protesters could be silenced, the press could not criticize government, and citizens could not mobilize for social change.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

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