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.
Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins, and Susan "Saranwrap" are all covered by the First Amendment even if some people don't agree with what they say.
by fduck January 08, 2004
A wonderful ideal that is sadly no longer with us. Born 1776, died 2001 with the Patriot Act. RIP
Let us now observe a moment of silence for our dear late friend the first amendment.
by king of canada September 12, 2006
To put bluntly: The Freedom of speech.
The first amendment is why one person can change the country.
by krau_soles January 09, 2006
The First Amendment allows the people of the United States to voice unpopular opinions, preventing tyranny by the majority. It also allows people to assembly peaceable and allows the press to report fact and voice opinion without prior restraint. If we cannot petition our government for the redress of grievances we risk the hardening of a permanent majority into a self-enforcing bureaucracy.

Thomas Jefferson once said that if forced to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, he wouldn't hesitate to choose the latter. Assembly, the exchange of ideas, and understanding the actions of society keep us free, and are why the press was intended to be a de facto fourth branch of government.
"Free Speech is the right to yell, "Theater!" at a crowded fire."

- Abbie Hoffman, radical, describing the First Amendment
by Memphis Jay March 07, 2008

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