First Amendment Rights

Freedom of speech is set out in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Along with giving individuals freedom of religion and the right to assemble, the Amendment directs that Congress "shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise . . . or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." James Madison's words continue to inspire and confuse into the 21st century.

What is "speech"?

Speech is more than the spoken word; it is the free expression of an individual's thoughts and ideas. Expression or speech can be manifested in art, music, writings, personal appearance and attire.

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