In the last week of January Georgia Highlands College will observe First Amendment week. First Amendment week, which was started in 2004 by GHC’s news publication, the Six Mile Post, was established as a campaign to foster awareness of the amendment.
There are five pillars of The First Amendment, freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. The amendment was signed into law within the first 10 amendments to the Constitution in The Bill of Rights and went into effect Dec., 15, 1791.
Written to protect citizens from the power of the federal government, The First Amendment has not only been a safeguard to voices of change, rights activism, and religious movements, but also to the individual.
While these protections have long stood at the forefront of The Bill of Rights, they are not always a given in situations of adversity but, rather, must be evoked within the power of U.S. law.
Precedence has been established time and again through interpretation of the law.
As the world changes, new issues arise that challenge the language outlined in The First Amendment. Innovations such as film, television, and the internet have all had to call upon The First Amendment and the U.S. court system to reinterpret what is and what is not protected under its provisions.
There will always be a push to stifle platforms of expression, but no matter how hard the push, we must not give up the inalienable right of even a single voice.