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First Principles


The First Amendment affirms the freedom of the individual. ... The First Amendment tells the government to keep its 'hands off' our religion, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: First Principles

First Principles
  • The First Amendment affirms the freedom of the
  • Free expression is the foundation the
    cornerstone of democracy.
  • The First Amendment tells the government to keep
    its hands off our religion, our ideas, our
    ability to express ourselves.
  • Other people have rights, too.
  • When rights collide, government must balance
  • The First Amendment helps us make choices.

The First Amendment
  • 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 the States
  • 1791 Congress shall make no law . . .
  • 1925 Gitlow v. New York First Amendment
    applies to states via Fourteenth Amendment
  • 14th Amendment, Section 1 No State shall make
    or enforce any law which shall abridge the
    privileges and immunities of citizens of the
    United States nor shall any state deprive any
    person of life, liberty, or property, without due
    process of law nor deny to any person within its
    jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The First Amendment?
  • Citizens have freedom of speech in keeping with
    the goals of the socialist society.
  • Cuban Constitution
  • (Article 52)

The Three Rs of the First Amendment
  • Rights -- Individual (Each of us is born with
    certain inalienable rights)
  • Responsibilities -- Mutual (Each of us must
    accept the responsibility to guard the rights of
    others -- especially those with whom we most
    deeply disagree)
  • Respect -- Universal (Each of us must commit to
    debate out differences with respect)