In 1876, Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison Waite wrote the majority opinion in United States v. Cruikshank (92 U.S. 542). Waite touched on the rights protected by the First Amendment, writing: “The right of the people peaceably to assemble for lawful purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. In fact, it is, and always has been, one of the attributes of citizenship under a free government. It ‘derives its source,’ to use the language of Chief Justice Marshall, in Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 211, ‘from those laws whose authority is acknowledged by civilized man throughout the world.’ It is found wherever civilization exists. It was not, therefore, a right granted to the people by the Constitution. The government of the United States when established found it in existence, with the obligation on the part of the States to afford it protection.”

Tinkering with the First Amendment, just like tinkering with the Second Amendment, does not affect those rights. They are among those rights with which “all men are endowed by their Creator,” as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

It seems the same people who find the Second Amendment inconvenient are also finding the First Amendment a problem. I imagine they will probably be okay with the Third Amendment but I wonder what they will find inconvenient about the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, etc.

Some people just aren’t happy with other people having freedom.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of

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