First Amendment Essays

Introduction for Essay on First Amendment

The authority to amend the Constitution of the United States is derived from Article V of the Constitution. After Congress proposes an amendment, the Archivist of the United States, who heads the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is charged with responsibility for administering the ratification process under the provisions of 1 U.S.C. 106b. The Archivist has delegated many of the ministerial duties associated with this function to the Director of the Federal Register. Neither Article V of the Constitution nor Section 106b describes the ratification process in detail. The Archivist and the Director of the Federal Register follow procedures and customs established by the Secretary of State, who performed these duties until 1950, and the Administrator of General Services, who served in this capacity until NARA assumed responsibility as an independent agency in 1985.

The Process of Amendment Proposal | Research Paper on First Amendment Essay

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval. The original document is forwarded directly to NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for processing and publication. The OFR adds legislative history notes to the joint resolution and publishes it in slip law format. The OFR also assembles an information package for the States which includes formal ‘red-line’ copies of the joint resolution, copies of the joint resolution in slip law format, and the statutory procedure for ratification under 1 U.S.C. 106b.

The Archivist submits the proposed amendment to the States for their consideration by sending a letter of notification to each Governor along with the informational material prepared by the OFR. The Governors then formally submit the amendment to their State legislatures, or the state calls for a convention, depending on what Congress has specified. In the past, some State legislatures have not waited to receive official notice before taking action on a proposed amendment. When a State ratifies a proposed amendment, it sends the Archivist an original or certified copy of the State action, which is immediately conveyed to the Director of the Federal Register. The OFR examines ratification documents for facial legal sufficiency and an authenticating signature. If the documents are found to be in good order, the Director acknowledges receipt and maintains custody of them. The OFR retains these documents until an amendment is adopted or fails and then transfers the records to the National

Archives for preservation

A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States). When the OFR verifies that it has received the required number of authenticated ratification documents, it drafts a formal proclamation for the Archivist to certify that the amendment is valid and has become part of the Constitution. This certification is published in the Federal Register and U.S. Statutes at Large and serves as official notice to Congress and to the Nation that the amendment process has been completed.

In a few instances, States have sent official documents to NARA to record the rejection of an amendment or the rescission of prior ratification. The Archivist does not make any substantive determinations as to the validity of State ratification actions, but it has been established that the Archivist’s certification of the facial legal sufficiency of ratification documents is final and conclusive.

Ceremonial Signing of the Certification

In recent history, the signing of the certification has become a ceremonial function attended by various dignitaries, which may include the President. President Johnson signed the certifications for the 24th and 25th Amendments as a witness, and President Nixon similarly witnessed the certification of the 26th Amendment along with three young scholars. On May 18, 1992, the Archivist performed the duties of the certifying official for the first time to recognize the ratification of the 27th Amendment, and the Director of the Federal Register signed the certification as a witness.

Deep Dive into the First Amendment | Thesis Statement for First Amendment Essay

The first amendment is one of twenty-seven amendments. There are a few more popular amendments than others. For instance, the second amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. However, this amendment is probably one of the most controversial amendments because a lot of people think we should get rid of guns because they lead to violence. Another interesting amendment is the first amendment. The first amendment prevents the government from creating laws that would regulate any establishment of religion or any act that would threaten the free speech of religion. The first amendment commands that the government has no interest in religious activity. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise. Thus building a wall of separation between church and state”. The first amendment has three main sections: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press.

The Role of the Supreme Court in Shaping First Amendment Rights

Freedom of speech means the free and public expression of opinions without censorship, interference, and restraint by the government. The term ‘freedom of speech’ that is in the First Amendment encompasses the decision of what to say as well as what not to say. The supreme court during the Chicago police dept. V. Moseley case said, “ But, above all else, the First Amendment means that the government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. To permit the continued building of our politics and culture and to assure self-fulfillment for each individual, our people are guaranteed the right to express any thought, free from government censorship. The essence of this forbidden censorship is content control. Any restriction on expressive activity because of its content would completely undercut the ‘profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.”

Conclusion: Summary of the amendment process and its importance in U.S. history

Freedom of religion Religious liberty, also known as freedom of religion, is ‘the right of all persons to believe, speak, and act – individually and in community with others. The reason freedom of religion is one of the first subjects addressed in the amendments is because of the founding fathers. Their understanding of the importance of religion to human, social, and political flourishing made them think that they should protect religion first, just in case. Justice William O. Douglas once said, “ The First Amendment commands government to have no interest in theology or ritual; it admonishes government to be interested in allowing religious freedom to flourish—whether the result is to produce Catholics, Jews, or Protestants, or to turn the people toward the path of Buddha, or to end in a predominantly Moslem nation, or to produce in the long run atheists or agnostics. On matters of this kind, the government must be neutral.

Freedom of the press means the right of individuals to express themselves through the publication and dissemination of information, ideas, and opinions without interference, constraint, or prosecution by the government. However, freedom of the press does not mean we can just say anything. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger said: ‘Numerous holdings of this Court attest to the fact that the First Amendment does not literally mean that we ‘are guaranteed the right to express any thought, free from government censorship.’

Stop wasting your time searching for samples!
You can find a skilled professional who can write any paper for you.
Get unique paper