The First Amendment Essay

1945 Words Jan 11th, 2007 8 Pages
The First Amendment
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is part of our countries Bill of Rights. The first amendment is perhaps the most important part of the U.S. Constitution because the amendment guarantees citizens freedom of religion, speech, writing and publishing, peaceful assembly, and the freedom to raise grievances with the Government. In addition, amendment requires that there be a separation maintained between church and state.
Our first amendment to the United States Constitution reads; 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
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The Oregon Supreme Court at first ruled that the two were entitled to benefits because the state's interest in its compensation fund did not outweigh the burden the decision placed on the men's religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to the state courts for them to rule whether it was constitutional to proscribe the use of sacramental peyote. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the law was allowable, and the case returned to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Court decided that a State could not condition the availability of unemployment insurance on an individual's willingness to forego conduct required by his religion. However, this is not the case when law prohibits the conduct. The Oregon law is not specifically directed at the Native Americans' religious practice and is constitutional when applied to other citizens. "It is a permissible reading of the [free exercise clause]...to say that if prohibiting the exercise of religion is not the object of the [law] but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended. To make an individual's obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law's coincidence with his religious beliefs, except where the State's interest is "compelling"-permitting him, by virtue of his beliefs, "to become a law unto

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