Essay On The First Amendment

1376 Words6 Pages
The first amendment of the United States Constitution protects citizens’ rights to; freedom of the press, peaceful assembly, religious freedom, the right to petition the government, and the right to free speech. The Constitution itself asserts: “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” Interpreting the first amendment has always been a subject for debate, and many citizens of the United States are unaware of what is actually protected by the first amendment, specifically in regards to freedom of speech. This lack…show more content…
There are currently no constitutional limits on hate speech, even though many community areas such as college campuses have passed restrictions. Any law that restricts hate speech is actually unconstitutional as of right now, and to move forward with an agenda that would restrict speech in this way on a federal level is simply not supported by the Constitution. Attempting to pass a law that defines hateful speech and outlaws it would be a violation of the first amendment, as it would be very difficult to do so in a way that does not infringe on other liberties granted under the first amendment. Many of those who support hate speech as a first amendment right argue that hateful words do not incite violence unless that violence already existed, and would have happened with or without encouragement. This is a nice thought, and in a perfect world it would even be true, however, this notion is not supported by the massive amount of evidence showing violent acts encouraged by hateful speech. While yes, it would be difficult to enact a law limiting hateful speech, and such a plan would initially meet with heavy opposition, it is not impossible to protect citizens of our country from violence and the normalization of violent
Open Document