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Speech and Religion

The First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, religion, the press, assembly, and petition are also embedded in analogous provisions in state constitutions. In many states, these provisions are worded differently than the First Amendment and may not be grouped into a single provision. Many states have also adopted Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, which provide added protections for religious freedoms. It is not uncommon for states to provide broader protections than the U.S. Constitution for the press, commercial speech, artistic expression, religious freedom, and other rights. 

Speech, religion, and assembly rights can also be implicated in other categories of cases, such as challenges to restrictions on voting or abortion, or lawsuits involving civil rights, discrimination, employment, or the rights of criminal defendants.

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A project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law