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First Amendment of the Constitution

The United States Constitution, originally drafted by the founding fathers in 1787, was the foundation for the world’s first true democracy. As profoundly visionary as the document was, it wasn’t perfect. While it defined what the democratically elected government was authorized to do, it did not define what it wasn’t authorized to do.

Bill of Rights

Having toiled under the tyranny of British rule and fought a war to be freed from it, the American people wanted their newly acquired rights of freedom of speech, press and religion etched in stone in the Constitution. After four years of wrangling over the issue, the Bill of Rights was passed and the Constitution finally ratified. Its centerpiece was the First Amendment.

Freedom of speech

The term freedom of speech is self-defining. While there are limits, yelling fire in a crowded theater, for instance, the Supreme Court has consistently guarded the right of individuals to speak freely. Freedom of the press is very similar to freedom of speech except that it is written speech. The First Amendment protects the press from government censorship. However, it does not grant any rights to the media that aren’t available to the public in general.

Freedom of religion

What are known as the twin clauses of the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause address the separation of church and state. It essentially prohibits the government from enacting legislation that imposes religion on its citizens and from favoring one religion over another. The free exercise clause guarantees the right of every individual to freely practice the religion of his choosing, or to practice no religion at all, without government interference.

Freedom of assembly and petition

Freedom of assembly means people have the right to gather together in a public place and make their views known as long as they do so in a nonviolent way. Freedom of petition provides the right to ask government for a redress of grievances either by challenging existing statutes in a court of law or by collecting signatures to force legislative bodies to take action.

Judicial interpretation

For more than a century after the ratification of the Constitution, the freedoms it guaranteed existed, for the most part, only on paper. Congress made laws, and the executive branch enforced them. In the 20th century, however, citizens began to challenge laws in court when they felt their rights were being violated. The concept of judicial precedent, in which a court may base its ruling on the ruling of a previous court when the facts in the case are similar, piled layers of interpretation on the First Amendment.

While these layers added meat to the original words, the issue of judicial interpretation is a contentious one. Whether the First Amendment, as right-leaning Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia believes, should be viewed as an unchanging document that can be interpreted only in the context of the original meaning or intent of the framers, or, as left-leaning President Barack Obama believes, as a document that needs to be interpreted in the context of the changing norms and understandings of an evolving society, continues to be the subject of much debate.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

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Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
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