First Amendment

The First Amendment was enacted in response to the experiences that the American colonists had with their British government as that government established religions in some colonies and limited freedom of the press generally. The First Amendment guarantees five freedoms:

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 Supreme Court did not review litigation involving the First Amendment until the 20th century because the justices had not developed and applied the “incorporation doctrine,” which made the Bill of Rights applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. In Gitlow ...

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