James Madison drafted most of the Bill of Rights. He was a Virginia representative who would later become the fourth president of the United States. He created the Bill of Rights during the 1st United States Congress, which met from 1789 to 1791 – the first two years that President George Washington was in office.
The Bill of Rights, which was officially introduced to Congress in 1789 and adopted on December 15, 1791, includes the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Today we are going to cover the First Amendment, what it is, and what it means.
Here is a reprint of the 1st Amendment.
“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.”
From this constitutional self-educated man, what the First Amendment seems to be about is protecting the right of dissenters and minorities to criticize the powerful. Basically, it gives the common man the right to stand up to the government if the common man feels violated individually, or in groups.
Under its umbrella, the 1st Amendment actually protects 5 areas of speech. In order, they are.
Now even though the 5 protections should be adequate for protecting the right to speak as needed, there have been, and continue to be, gray areas in this amendment. These issues and areas are generally handled through the court system on a case-by-case basis. Here are a couple of gray areas;
- Obscene material has historically been excluded from 1st amendment protection. However, the line determining obscene is constantly moving, making true protection legally difficult.
- Incitement and/or threats are not protected, but here again, determining what words truly validate these threats can be difficult, especially when the intent is misunderstood, only partially expressed, or lost in the mix.
- Over and/or under the protection of the First Amendment gets in the way of other protections covered in the Constitution. Trump being charged for saying he was cheated out of the election, as an example. this helped open up the charge of 14th Amendment rights (in fairness, I am new at this and not 100% sure this is the best example).
I think the First Amendment is a true privilege that most Americans take for granted. It is the most important amendment, which is why it is listed first and foremost. With today's media that hides and picks its stories and news, plus the woke crowd pushing politically correct everything, I am truly worried we are quickly losing this valuable right. That's why all of us, EVERYONE needs to exercise this right as often as possible, even if we get censored on FB or TikTok, or raise eyebrows in public. Of course, we still need to be respectful and kind to others as we express this right.
(Make sure you share and pass this on to all your friends so they can learn and grow with us).