First Amendment to the United States Constitution
Amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, of speech, of assembly, and of the press. Part of the Bill of Rights, it was ratified in 1791.
This amendment also guarantees the right to assemble peacefully and to petition the government concerning its policies. Since the 1920s, the First Amendment's guarantees have applied to state governments as well as the federal government. Interpretation of this amendment has caused great controversy over the years in areas such as censorship and school prayer. It is often quoted on the Internet, even by non-US citizens, in arguments over international attempts at censorship. (See censorship, computing).
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