First Amendment

Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights

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.

Read Interpretations of Establishment Clause

Read Interpretations of Free Exercise Clause

Read Interpretations of Free Speech and Press

Read Interpretations of Assembly and Petition

More about First Amendment

The Drafting Table

Coming soon for this provision! Until then, you can use Writing Rights to explore key historical documents, early drafts and major proposals behind each provision, and discover how the drafters deliberated, agreed and disagreed, on the path to compromise and the final text.

In the Classroom

Teach the Constitution in your classroom with nonpartisan resources including videos, lesson plans, podcasts, and more. Check out our classroom resources organized by each article or amendment, and by key constitutional questions.

Media Library: First Amendment

Live At America's Town Hall Podcast

Church-State Separation and the Constitution

Nov 24

Town Hall Video

Church-State Separation: What Does the Constitution Really Say?

Advocates and scholars discuss the First Amendment, the freedom of religion, and the separation of Church and State.

Nov 19

Blog Post

Battle for the Constitution: Week of October 26, 2020 Roundup

Here is a round-up of the latest from the Battle for the Constitution: a special project on the constitutional debates in American…

Oct 30

Educational Video

Scholar Exchange: The Bill of Rights with Linda Monk

In this Fun Friday session, award-winning author and constitutional scholar Linda R. Monk joins Center President and CEO Jeffrey…

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