This case involved a village ordinance that required individuals exercising their First Amendment rights by going door-to-door to first identify themselves. CLDEF’s amicus curiae brief argued in support of the anonymous speech principle found embedded in the First Amendment by the freedom of the press. The Supreme Court agreed, finding that the ordinance was unconstitutional.
“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.”
– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund believes that the First Amendment’s directive that “Congress shall make no law…” provides the clearest standard for the protection of the liberties listed therein. Judges take away from these liberties when they use “judge-empowering” tests to determine whether those liberties are more important than governmental interests. Unsurprisingly, judges frequently consider those governmental interests — essentially the judge’s idea of “the common good” — more important than the abridgement of the individual liberties the Founders desired to protect, thus erasing the jurisdictional barriers erected by the several guarantees of the First Amendment.
Below are some of the Freedoms of Speech and Press/Free Exercise of Religion matters in which CLDEF has been involved.
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