On Demand

The First Amendment: Five Freedoms, Contextualized

1h 30m

Created on June 29, 2017




Perhaps now more than ever, the rights set forth in the First Amendment are of critical importance in American civil society. While many may associate the First Amendment with only a hazy concept of "free speech", there are five separate freedoms announced in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and the prohibition of an establishment of a state religion in America. These limitations on government power over individual expression and association form the vital core of our concept of civil liberties.

In this course, we will explore the freedoms and rights set forth in the First Amendment in historical context, and discuss practical examples of how those rights may be improperly restricted by governments, and actions that can be taken by conscientious practitioners to frustrate those improper restrictions. We will provide guidance for asserting First Amendment issues in §1983 litigation for redress of violations of rights, and provide talking points for explaining First Amendment freedoms for laypersons.

This course, presented by Samuel B. Cohen, noted New York §1983 practitioner, will provide practitioners with key insights into the fundamental purposes of the First Amendment, and tips for practical applications of First Amendment rights in a variety of contexts.   

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Introduce the First Amendment and First Amendment Rights
  2. Discuss the evolution of First Amendment rights over time
  3. Provide practical guidance for asserting First Amendment violations in §1983 practice
  4. Explore current and pending First Amendment issues 

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