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First Amendment (Clark)

American History project exploring Supreme Court cases on the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The First Amendment: 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 grievance.

Overall, your paper should answer the following:

In the Supreme Court case you chose, how does the Supreme Court weigh/balance First Amendment rights against other competing interests?


  • What First Amendment rights are relevant to your case? 
  • Why would the Court want to protect those rights?
  • What are the competing interests?  Why must the Court take those into account?
  • What decision(s) did the Court make?

Find the full text:

After your preliminary reading of cases, you can find full text of your case here. Add your case name (ex. Tinker v Des Moines) into this Google search bar to find the full text of your case at Cornell's Legal Information Institute (LII). If that doesn't work, try one of the other links.

Google Web Search

Learn more about your case:

Remember, you must find a case that has at least one DISSENTING opinion.

Delve a little further:

Head to these sources when ready to hear other interpretations of your case and the issues involved.