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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.
Ratified in 1791
The First Amendment has three components. The first established the principle of Separation of Church and State. The second asserts the principles of free speech and the free press, while the third relates to the political process. The first two have proved much more controversial, due to the difficulty that arises from defining exactly what the terms mean.
See Table of Amendments.