“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 to the U.S. Constitution
FIRE’s First Amendment Library
The First Amendment Library’s goal is to enhance the public’s understanding of the 45 words of the First Amendment and to do so in an impartial, historical, analytical, practical, and accessible way. FIRE’s First Amendment Library provides visitors core information about the First Amendment’s five freedoms: religion, speech, press, assembly, & petition.
Explore Supreme Court opinions, historical timelines, overview essays, the glossary, banned and challenged books, academic discussions, and other resources to get the full picture of how the United States’ culture of free speech and First Amendment law has developed over the years. Whether you’re an educator, student, or generally interested in your rights, look to history to learn how to better exercise your rights. Our hope is that the Library will generate more interest in and respect for the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. In that regard, the First Amendment Library is an evolving resource, replete with updates and expansions.