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MT. 3, LT. 1 – Supreme Court Interpretations of the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment. Freedom of Religion. Establishment Clause. Free Exercise Clause. Religious Belief = complete freedom Religious Practice = may be restricted. Wall of Separation between Church & State.
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The First Amendment
Free Exercise Clause
Religious Belief = complete freedom
Religious Practice = may be restricted
Wall of Separation between Church & State
Example = no mandatory prayer in schools
Example = refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance
Spoken or written thoughts, words, or ideas
Symbols, slogans, artwork, clothing, songs, gestures, etc.
EXCPET – slander or defamatory language = (false + harmful)
EXCEPT – speech creating a “clear and present” danger
No “Prior Restraint”
No censorship or restriction on what is published
EXCEPT = threats to national security (“leaking” information)
EXCEPT = libelous statements or false advertising (false + harmful)
Freedom of Association
Right to Protest
Protesting government actions (demonstrations, marches , etc.)
Right to join or form groups or organizations
EXCEPT = Time or place restrictions, public safety, private property, etc.
EXCEPT = terrorist or criminal organizations
First Amendment is usually given a “preferred position”
Freedom of expression is only limited when absolutely necessary
This is necessary for a free and democratic government
Unpopular beliefs and opinions must also be protected
Fundamental rights will often conflict with each other
Supreme Court has ultimate say in how rights are applied
The Fourteenth Amendment
Treating a person or group unfairly solely based on race, religion, sex, etc.
Government cannot make unreasonable distinctions among groups of people
Laws must show a good reason to justify a classification
Classifications based on race or national origin are “suspect”
Classifications are less likely when a fundamental right is involved
Classifications must show an intent to discriminate