|Part of the series on the|
|Standards of review|
|Other legal theories|
|Defining moments in law|
|Modalities of Constitutional Law|
|Issues in Constitutional Law|
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:
 Parsing the First Amendment
- Freedom of assembly
- Right to petition for a redress of grievances (i.e. the right to take somebody to court)
The exact wording of the First Amendment only restricts the lawmaking powers of Congress; as originally implemented, it put no such restrictions on the lawmaking powers of the States. Virginia, for example, still had an official State religion for several years after the First Amendment was ratified. However, modern interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment frequently extend the Constitutional limits on lawmaking power to the States as well. This is called "incorporation."
All of the various clauses of the First Amendment have been incorporated against the states by the Supreme Court. The first to be incorporated was freedom of speech in 1925, in Gitlow v. New York, and the most recent was the right to petition for redress of grievances in 1996, in Romer v. Evans.
| The United States Constitution|
Articles: Article One Legislative Branch, Article Two Executive Branch, Article Three Judicial Branch, Article Four Federalism, Article Five Amendment Procedure, Article Six Supremacy Clause, Article Seven Ratification Procedure.
Amendments: Eleventh Amendment, Twelfth Amendment, Thirteenth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Fifteenth Amendment, Sixteenth Amendment, Seventeenth Amendment, Eighteenth Amendment, Nineteenth Amendment, Twentieth Amendment, Twenty First Amendment, Twenty Second Amendment, Twenty Third Amendment, Twenty Fourth Amendment, Twenty Fifth Amendment, Twenty Sixth Amendment, Twenty Seventh Amendment