Study Guide

Constitution - First Amendment

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First Amendment

Passed by Congress: 25 September 1789
Ratified: 15 December 1791

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.

The First Amendment is one run-on sentence that enshrines five of the most essential liberties guaranteed by American democracy: the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, and the right to petition the government. The First Amendment is the core of all civil rights and civil liberties law in the United States.

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