The First Amendment is the foundation for a country free from tyranny and helps protect all of the other rights that are guaranteed to all people. It is comprised of five parts: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition. These freedoms allow us to live in a democratic society where individuality is encouraged, opinions are diverse, and political debate is robust. Art, film, literature, journalism, and protest are all avenues of expression that would not be able to exist without the First Amendment.
Rapidly advancing technology and the vast reach of the internet have introduced a whole new set of issues concerning freedom of expression. While the possibilities of expression are now endless, in 1791 there was no mention of blogging or podcasting in the Bill of Rights. As a result, the ACLU is working to make sure that this new era in technology serves to enhance, rather than compromise civil liberties.
What are we doing about it?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The First Amendment of the Constitution of United States of America
The ACLU of Kansas is committed to protecting the right to protest inherent in the First Amendment and to defending other fundamental rights to free expression for all Kansans, regardless of political party or other affiliation.