In the First Amendment to the United States Constitution it states: “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” (Bloom p. 81).
The right of a citizen to peacefully do the following:
1) parade and gather
2) demonstrate support or opposition of public policy
3) express one’s views is guaranteed by the freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble.
Today The Women’s March gathered with the following mission:
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
The First Amendment states that Congress can make no law hindering the right of the people to peaceably assemble. In 1776, Pennsylvania’s declaration of rights guaranteed peaceable assembly, being the first state to recognize this right.
The declarations of rights gave citizens of other states the right to peaceful assembly – North Carolina (1776), Massachusetts (1790), and New Hampshire (1784).
On September 25, 1789, the House and Senate agreed on twelve proposed amendments to the Constitution and submitted them to the states for ratification. Then, on November 21, 1798, North Carolina, with a proposed bill of rights by Congress, ratified the original Constitution by a 194-77 vote. Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, making it part of the Constitution.
Congress initially took petitions very seriously, following the tradition of its colonial forebears. The House of Representatives scheduled time into its regular business in order to hear petitions on the floor.The right of expressive association protected civil rights protesters from hostile state action in the 1950s and 1960s, and, after the Court’s 2000 decision in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, also protects private groups that wish to promote traditional ideals and values.Picketing is protected when it is for a lawful purpose and is conducted in an orderly manner and publicizes some type of grievance.
Today’s Women’s March was estimated as follows: