The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is one of the founding principles that our country is based on. It gives us as Americans the ability to debate and speak our minds without fear of persecution from our government. The full text of the First Amendment reads:
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.
Throughout our history several cases have shaped the meaning of this language and left us with essentially nine categories of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment.
Those categories are:
This is merely an overview and introduction into the types of speech that are not protected under the First Amendment. There are countless resources on each of these topics to understand and unpack some of the information that is above.
I feel that it is also important to note that the First Amendment protects us from our government creating any laws to silence us. It does not protect us from the opinions of others around us or private organizations. It does not allow a person to say or do anything they please without consequence. The actions a person takes and the things that a person does can and will impact their lives.
If you have recently run into a legal problem and need assistance, please contact The Law Office of James R. Elliott at (757) 898-4805.