The First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. It states:
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 of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The essential rights of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition are the cornerstone of our democratic tradition. The scholarship in this area is vast; this guide introduces users to starting points for research and study.