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The First Amendment
Does it Still Mean Anything?


Can you name the five freedoms of the First Amendment?
by Sarah Jarvis Star Tribune

The First Amendment means free speech, yet it covers four other issues. What are they?

Unless you are a lawyer or a student taking a civics class, it might be hard to remember that the First Amendment covers more than freedom of speech. Issues such as speech on college campuses and the rights of the press have put these rights in the spotlight recently, but the First Amendment includes three other specific freedoms beyond speech and press.

We traveled around the Twin Cities metro area this July 4th week to see how many of the five freedoms outlined in the First Amendment residents could identify. A few people could name as many as three and most people did remember free speech but no one we spoke to could name all five.

Can you?

Brian Natzel, a sales manager, was the first person of the day to name three: freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Amanda Natzel, a designer, was close, identifying freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

Two others tied Brian Natzel's record George Hardgrove, an accounting manager who named freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion, and Anthony Smith, a Tasks Unlimited employee who named freedom of speech, the right to assemble and freedom of religion.

Sergio Juarez, a mechanical engineer, got freedom of speech, and Linda Pavlick, who is unemployed, said she was caught off-guard and couldn't remember what the First Amendment includes.

The five freedoms outlined in the First Amendment are: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assembly and the right to petition the government. If you were able to name all of them on your own, you deserve an extra hot dog and ice cream this quintessentially American week.
 

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