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The First Amendment; Is It Still Fundemental Today?

836 words - 3 pages

The First Amendment states,"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 grievance."There are many historical debates about what our founding fathers wrote in 1791. So many questions have been left unanswered, but there's one fact; there are many advantages and disadvantages that have developed from the First Amendment.The founders of the United States government tried to protect this liberty by assuring a free press, to gather and publish information without being under control or power of another. So why do we need to be concerned if we, as citizens, have been properly protected under the constitution? Our concerns occur on account of special interest groups that are fighting to change the freedom of expression, the right to freely represent individual thoughts, feelings, and views, in order to protect their families as well as others.One popular question of the respondent, "Are we protected from censorship under the First Amendment?" In other words, do individuals or groups have the right or the power to examine material and remove or prohibit anything they consider objectionable? This argument has been progressing for centuries; in fact, the first notable case was against John Peter Zenger in 1743. Zenger was an editor of a New York colonial newspaper that often published articles critical of the colonial governor. He successfully argued that publishing the truth should be a defense and therefore defied the conventional wisdom and ended colonial intrusion into freedom of the press. Since that case, the progression through time has expanded matters to the complicated issues we see today.In my opinion, the First Amendment has not been all around fundamental since 1791, even though it has some advantages. When you look at any problem there are always two different perspectives. I believe the First Amendment has helped residents throughout the country feel as if they were all equal. United States citizens have rights that most countries would never even debate about. In fact the reason our founding fathers gave more rights to the people is because of the British. They felt other people should have equal or more rights than they did. Before 1791 you couldn't voice your opinion to the country. If you were to say...

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