Constitution of United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)
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.
We the People MN hosted “My Wicca Sisterhood Wants to Hold a Rally,” exploring the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Sunday, January 29, 1-3pm at Solomon’s Porch, 100 West 46th Street. It was live-streamed from the We the People MN Facebook Page (NOT the FB Group, a FB page just set up for this reason), for anyone who visits the page and “likes” it.
Our freedom of speech, assembly, and press are in the news regularly these days. You don’t have to look far to see how these rights are being challenged. For example, on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s Facebook he posted: “Many liberal rioters were witnessed harassing and instigating the peaceful Trump-Pence marchers celebrating our victory yesterday. Stronger laws against demonstrations are needed! Very disrespectful!”
How do we protect freedom of the press?
Can Trump threaten the right to assemble?
Does freedom of religion protect discrimination?
- Current news about challenges to the first amendment at the state and national level can be found here, here, here, here, and here.
- The Intercept: Republican lawmakers in five states propose bills to criminalize peaceful protest (Jan. 19, 2017)
- National Review: Donald Trump as candidate “dreams of expanding libel laws.” (Feb. 28, 2016)
- National Review: Trump is no fan of free speech (Jan. 18, 2017)
- Republicans plan to reintroduce Anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ bill supported by Trump (Dec. 9, 2016)
- NPR: Free speech advocates, publishers, struggle with questions of censorship (Jan. 12, 2017)
“This is not about censoring right wing voices. This is about combating hate speech and its entry into the mainstream.”
- You can review a “First Amendment Timeline” from the firstamendmentcenter.org (long!).
Key Supreme Court first amendment cases
- R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, Minnesota
- Virginia v. Black
- New York Times Company v. United States
- Texas v. Johnson
- Engel v. Vitale
- Lemon v. Kurtzman
We will be posting additional updates on our Facebook Group, which is also the best place for you to ask questions, if you have them.
— Created by We the People MN: Matt Filner, Cara Letofsky, Jim Davnie, Abou Amara, Noel Nix, Sarah Linnes-Robinson, Allison Wolf, Gerald Wilhem, Elizabeth Glidden, & Mark Haase