Introduction to the First Amendment

Author:Ruthann Robson
Pages:1-12
 
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Robson The First Amendment
1
Chapter& One:& INTRODUCTION& TO& THE&
FIRST&AMENDMENT&
Chapter Outline
I. Text
II. The Clauses
A. The Religion Clauses
B. The Free Speech Clause
C. The Press Clause
D. The Assembly Clause
E. The Petition Clause
F. Association: The “Missing” Clause
III. International Perspectives
IV. State Action and Incorporation Against the States
V. History: The Firstness of the First Amendment
VI. Theoretical Perspectives
VII. The Challenges of First Amendment Cases and Controversies
VIII. United States Supreme Court Terms: Recent Cases
2014-2015 Term
2013-2014 Term
I.&&Text&
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 to peaceably assemble, and to
petition the Government from redress of grievances.
II.&&The&Clauses&
& A.& The&Religion&Clauses&
The religion clauses are two separate but intertwined clauses.
First, the text forbids Congress making laws respecting “an
establishment of religion.” The Establishment Clause - - - more properly
denominated an anti-Establishment Clause or disestablishment Clause,
but routinely called the Establishment Clause - - means at its most
basic that there cannot be a government religion. This is distinct from
many other nations in which there is a national religion, including Great
Britain’s Church of England. More specific meanings of what an
“establishment” of religion might mean have been the subject of

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