How Does the First Amendment Protect Free Expression?The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law...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." Together these four rights may be considered as one?the right to freedom of expression.
This lesson examines the benefits that freedom of speech and freedom of the press offer to the individual and society, why they were important to the Founders, and the circumstances under which the government should be able to limit them.
When you finish this lesson, you should be able to explain the importance of freedom of expression to both the individual and society and its historical significance. You should be able to explain considerations useful in deciding when the government should be able to place limits on freedom of speech and the press and be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues involving the right to freedom of expression.