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 Until then, you can use Writing Rights to explore key historical documents, early drafts and major proposals behind each provision, and discover how the drafters deliberated, agreed and disagreed, on the path to compromise and the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

Town Hall Video

Press Freedom During Turbulent Times

U.S. Representatives and others explore the rights of journalists when covering protests in turbulent times.

Sep 2

Blog Post

Constitutional cases resulting from the 9/11 attacks

On September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks carried out against the United States would become the catalyst for at least two wars,…

Sep 11

Educational Video

Scholar Exchange: Foundations of American Democracy with Ali Velshi and Jeffrey Rosen

MSNBC anchor and business correspondent for NBC News Ali Velshi joins Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National…

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