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 Until then, you can use Writing Rights to explore key historical documents, early drafts and major proposals behind each provision, and discover how the drafters deliberated, agreed and disagreed, on the path to compromise and the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

Social Media and Public Health: A Conversation Featuring State Attorneys General

Attorneys General Doug Peterson and Phil Weiser discuss social media, public health, and the law.

Jun 1

Blog Post

When the Supreme Court ruled to allow American flag burning

On June 21, 1989, a deeply divided United States Supreme Court upheld the rights of protesters to burn the American flag in a…

Jun 21

Educational Video

Supreme Court in Review With MSNBC's Ali Velshi

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi joins National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen to discuss the Supreme Court and some of…

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