The First Amendment. An introduction & overview of freedom of religion and freedom of expression

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1 The First Amendment An introduction & overview of freedom of religion and freedom of expression

2 The First Amendment Five rights mentioned Freedom of Religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of the Press Freedom of Assembly Right to Petition the Government Also referred to as Freedom of Expression

3 Freedom of Religion The Establishment Clause Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. The Free Exercise Clause Prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion Some religious practices may conflict with other rights, and then be denied or punished

4 Establishment clause-government CAN Teach about religions in school Allow voluntary prayer in many examples Transport students to a religious school Read Bible for culture or literacy content CANNOT Set a state religion Government cannot order a prayer Teach religious doctrine in the school Pay seminary teachers Teach creationism

5 Free Exercise The person CAN Choose whatever religion Lead a prayer in most examples Ask questions about religions Worship who ever you want CANNOT Break the law and claim it is religious belief US v. Miller Raise children without education Deprave children of basic needs

6 Freedom of Expression Prior Restraint Definition: A government preventing material from being published. Censorship. May be permissible during wartime. May be punished after something is published.

7 Freedom of Expression Free Speech and Public Order Limited if it presents a clear and present danger Permissible to advocate the violent overthrow of government in abstract, but not to incite anyone to imminent lawless action Limited if on private property, like a shopping center

8 Freedom of Expression Obscenity No clear definition on what constitutes obscenity. Miller v. California stated that materials were obscene if the work: appeals to a prurient interest in sex showed patently offensive sexual conduct lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value Local areas make their own decisions on obscenity!

9 Freedom of Expression Libel and Slander Libel: The publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone s reputation. Slander: The same thing, only spoken instead of printed. Different standards for private individuals and public (politicians, celebrities) individuals Difficult to prove

10 Freedom of Expression Symbolic Speech Definition: Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. Generally protected along with verbal speech.

11 Freedom of Expression Commercial Speech Definition: Communication in the form of advertising. Generally the most restricted and regulated form of speech (FTC). Regulation of the Public Airwaves Broadcast stations must follow FCC rules. Cable / satellite has blurred the lines.

12 Freedom of Expression Freedom of Assembly Right to Assemble Generally permissible, but must meet reasonable local standards. Balance between freedom to assemble and order in society. Right to Associate Freedom to join groups / associations without government interference.

13 Petition the government Petition: You may sue the government for wrongs You cannot be punished for exposing wrongs by the government The courts decide the wrongs Protected petition is usually in the form of peaceful protest.

14 First Amendment Wrap-up Freedom of Religion is divided into Establishment Clause Government can not endorse one religion. Free Exercise Clause There is a difference between belief and action. Freedom of Expression is grey area Expression is a protected right, as so far as it does not violate the rights of others. It can be limited in special circumstances & in special places.

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