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 Until then, you can use Writing Rights to explore key historical documents, early drafts and major proposals behind each provision, and discover how the drafters deliberated, agreed and disagreed, on the path to compromise and the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

Policing Reform: A Conversation With Two State Attorneys General

Attorneys General Keith Ellison and Dave Yost discuss the role of state attorneys general in addressing policing reform.

Jul 8

Blog Post

Battle for the Constitution: Week of June 29th, 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…

Jul 3

Educational Video

Scholar Exchange: Constitution 101 with Jeffrey Rosen and Peter Sagal

Journalist and radio host Peter Sagal joins National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen for Constitution 101.

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