“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.”
These 45 words are the source of much discussion in the United States today. So what do they mean? This course will examine what
the First Amendment meant when it was written, how the courts have expanded the meaning of these seemingly simple words, and how
this amendment shapes American political discourse today.