1st Amendment activity

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 grievances.
Complete the following activities NEATLY ON YOUR OWN PAPER. Work alone, 
I. Vocab from hippocampus videos (you can do this at home or read the transcript):
1. Wall of Separation ~
2. Establishment clause ~
3. Free exercise clause ~
II. Directions: Complete the chart by placing a yes or a no in the constitutional column along with an explanation of
the court ruling.
1-A teacher led prayer in a public high
school or encouragement of prayer by
school authorities (at graduation or
football games).
Court Case
Engel v. Vitale
2-Erecting a manger scene at town hall
with private money
County of Allegheny
3-Making state financial aid available to
"church- related educational institutions"
(i.e. Catholic schools’ teacher salaries &
instructional materials)?
Lemon v. Kurtzman
4-Teaching Creationism or intelligent
design in a public high school biology
Tammy Kitzmiller v.
Dover Area School
District, Scopes v. TN
5-The practice of polygamy
Reynolds v. U.S.
Constitutional? & explanation
First Amendment
III. Freedom of Religion tests
Directions: Think about a situation where religion is tangled up with government. Here are the tests the following
people use.
· Liberals
Lemon test
Lemon v Kurtzman (1971)
1. A law must have a secular legislative purpose
2. A law must neither advance nor inhibit religion
3. It must avoid excessive government entanglement with religion
· Moderates
Endorsement Test
Establishment clause prohibits government practices that a reasonable observer would view as endorsing religion.
· Conservative
Non-Preferentialist test
Government may not prefer one religion over another but government can accommodate religious activities or
organizations as long as it is non-preferential of one over another.
Apply each test to the following:
1. Some County Board of Commissioners begin each meeting with a prayer.
2. In the case of Locke v Davey (2003), The State of Washington revokes a tax-payer funded scholarship for Joshua
Davey to go to Theological Seminary.
IV. Freedom of Religion Opinion
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
Directions: Read over all of the following scenarios and choose one to answer in detail (paragraph(s)).
1. Is today’s wall of separation between church and state at the right height?
2. Should the state of Alabama Supreme Court be allowed to display a huge granite statue of the Ten Commandments
in its public rotunda?
I am the lord your God
You shall have no other gods before me
You shall not make for yourself an idol
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
3. Would the US be better off if it was a more religious country?
4. Should science teachers be allowed to teach evolution in a science class at DeBakey?
Should science teachers be allowed to teach creationism in a science class at DeBakey?
5. If you could keep only one clause would it be the establishment or the free exercise clause?
6. Should American money say “In God We Trust” on it?
First Amendment
Congress shall make no abridging the freedom of speech….
In "On Liberty" (1859) John Stuart Mill argued that "...there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and
discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered." Mill argues that the
fullest liberty of expression is required to push arguments to their logical limits, rather than the limits of social
embarrassment. However, Mill also introduced what is known as the harm principle, in placing the following limitation
on free expression: "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized
community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
Schenck v. U.S.
Clear & Present Danger Doctrine
Gitlow v. New York
Incorporation Doctrine
New York Times v. Sullivan
Brandenburg v. Ohio
Hate Speech / ”imminent lawless action” Doctrine
Tinker v. Des Moines
Student speech / symbolic speech
Hazlewood School District v.
School censorship
Texas v. Johnson
Symbolic political speech
Boy Scouts of America v.
Freedom of Association
Morse v. Frederick
Student speech limits (“Bong Hits for Jesus”)
Citizens United v. Federal
Political independent expenditures by corporations,
Elections Commission
associations, or labor unions.
I. Briefly summarize decision and importance of 4 of the 10 cases above. You must do the two BOLD ones and
choose any other two.
II. Write an argument for the case Boy Scouts of America v Dale. You can be for the Boy Scouts or Dale, it's up to
you, just write an argument for whichever side you are on.
III. Answer all of the following questions
What is speech?
What is the Clear and Present Danger Doctrine?
Are there any lines of freedom of speech that you cannot cross?
What is hate speech and what is the law regarding hate speech?
Freedom of Speech Opinion
Directions: Read over all of the following scenarios and choose one to answer in detail (paragraph(s)).
1. Should freedom of speech be absolute?
2. List specific kinds of speech you would be willing to limit:
3. Do we have too much freedom of speech in our country?
4. Should the Nuremberg Files web site be legal?
5. Should the Westboro Baptist Church be allowed to protest funerals?