The First Amendment Essay, Research Paper

Our Populating Shield: The First Amendment

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The writers of the Constitution of the United States created a

brilliant list of autonomies which were, at the clip ascribed, to most

people belonging to the United States. The chief writer, James Madison,

transported the old thoughts of f undamental autonomies from the great

libertarians around the universe, such as John Lilburne, John Locke, William

Walwyn and John Milton. Madison and other old libertarians of his clip

were transposed into 17 different rights which were to be secured to

all those in the United States. These 17 civil autonomies were

compressed into 10 different groupings which were designated as the & # 8220 ; Bill

of Rights. & # 8221 ; In this papers lay the First Amendment which stated that the

people of the Uni ted States had the & # 8220 ; freedom of address, or of the imperativeness ;

or the right of the people pacifically to piece, and to petition the

Government & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; The First Amendment was drafted by federalist Madison chiefly

as a political maneuver to get rid of anti-federalist opposition to the

Fundamental law. After its transition in December of 1791, the First Amendment

remained more idealistic than realistic. The First Amendment remained a

set of ideals which were non to be carried out during its first century,

so progressed to more realistic footings during its latter half of



During the first century of the First Amendment, the First

Amendment was paid a glimpse by all when it came to really transporting out

the freedoms guaranteed by this amendment. For illustration, in 1794,

Pennsylvanian backcountry husbandmans protested a whiskey revenue enhancement. The dissenters

were non violent such as those of the old Shay & # 8217 ; s Rebellion. George

Washington sent in a reserves to oppress the rebellion denying them of their

First Amendment right to & # 8220 ; pacifically assemble. & # 8221 ; Later, in 1836, anti Shining Path

avery newspaper editor James G. Birney had been warned that his newspaper

& # 8220 ; The Philanthropist & # 8221 ; was non desirable in the metropolis of Cincinatti. When

Birney refused to collaborate, throng action took regulation and, & # 8220 ; scattered the type

into the streets, tore down T he presses and wholly dismantled the

office. & # 8221 ; This contradicted the First Amendment which stated that,

& # 8220 ; freedom & # 8230 ; of the imperativeness, & # 8221 ; is a constitutional right. The Supreme Court

could make nil about these state of affairss when in Barron v. Baltimore, T he

Court ruled that, & # 8220 ; These amendments contain no look bespeaking an

purpose to use them to province authoritiess. This tribunal can non so use

them. & # 8221 ; Thus, the Supreme Court could non inte

rfere when First Amendments

are being violated within a province. These Acts of the Apostless were representative of the

deficiency of acknowledgment for our First Amendment rights during the first half of

the Bill of Right & # 8217 ; s credence.


The 2nd half of the Bill of Rights was marked by a metempsychosis in

which the Bill of Rights was no longer a set of ideals. The 2nd half

began when in 1925, the tribunal ruled in Gitlow v. New York that the First

Amendment supersedes province Torahs. This nullified the Court & # 8217 ; s opinion in

Barron v. Baltimore, which took topographic point 92 old ages earlier. Besides, in 1931, the

Court overturned Minnesota & # 8217 ; s strong belief of Jay M. Near, whose anti Semitic

& # 8220 ; Saturday Press & # 8221 ; violated Minnesota jurisprudence which prohibited & # 8221 ; malicious,

disgraceful and calumniatory & # 8221 ; comments towards politicians and other public

functionaries. The Court stamped Minnesota & # 8217 ; s jurisprudence in misdemeanor of the First

amendment. In 1937, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes overturned the

strong belief of Oregon Com munist Dirk De Jonge. De Jonge had been detained

for go toing a meeting to protest the constabulary shot of striking

stevedores. The Court ruled that & # 8220 ; Peaceable assembly for lawful

treatment can non be made a crime. & # 8221 ; More late, in 1985, the S upreme

Court ruled that firing the American flag is protected by the First

Amendment when the Court reversed the strong belief of Gregory Lee Johnson,

who was arrested for misdemeanor of the Flag Protection Act of 1989. The

Court so ruled the Flag Protection Act of 1989 unconstitutional. These

cases clearly portray the rebounding of libertarian beliefs.


The First Amendment of the Constitution started off as a set of

beliefs meant to provide ground for one being loyal instead than supply

those unalienable rights discussed in the Declaration of Independence. It

so developed into a powerfu cubic decimeter papers which is the lone life

manuscript which specificly lists out the peoples rights. One can non look

back without looking in front. The supreme tribunal presently is overpoweringly

conservative. Without the balance of conservativism and liberalism, a

lack evolves. And this lack is human rights. The Supreme

Court ruled in 1990 that two American Indians were non protected by the

First Amendment when they sacredly smoked mescal. This is merely a sample

of the conservativism which wi ll finally plague America. The Court & # 8217 ; s

determinations are close to ageless and determinations made now will impact America & # 8217 ; s

hereafter. And whether or non we should set America & # 8217 ; s hereafter in one group & # 8217 ; s

custodies is out of the inquiry. The tribunal is presently dan gerously


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