Free Speech Clause: Origins and purposes
March 1, 2021
The guarantee of freedom of speech, central to Americans’ participation in self-governance and the life of the nation, is secured by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Ratified in 1791, the Free Speech Clause provides: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.”
The right to freedom of speech is derived from English law and tradition. At the time of the drafting of...