Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, "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." Within the First Amendment lie many important freedoms that rest at the very core of our everyday being. Of those freedoms are the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. Because these freedoms are so embedded in history as almost sacred and fundamental, the government’s regulation of these freedoms is not permitted absent some significant government interest or policy that would be served by such a regulation.
In this article, we’ll look at the following main concepts: content-based regulations and conduct-based regulations, and the scope of the speech in question.
Next, we’ll discuss the difference between content-based regulations and conduct-based regulations.