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POLS 105G: American Constitutional Law: First Amendment

This guide will help you find information about the United States Constitution and its amendments, including primary sources.

The First Amendment: What Does It Actually Say?

The First Amendment 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.

Books About First Amendment Issues

  • Books located in the Stacks may be borrowed from the Library with your student ID card. 
  • To view electronic books from off-campus, enter the same login and password that you use to open your "Student Workday" account.

First Amendment Encyclopedia

The Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy center dedicated to building understanding of the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information, and engagement. It does not participate in litigation or lobbying.

One of the Center's ongoing projects is adding new articles to the online version of the First Amendment Encyclopedia, originally published in 2009 by CQ Press. The encyclopedia now contains more than 1,600 entries covering court cases, people, concepts and legal terms, laws and proposed laws, and issues related to the five freedoms, as well as a chronology of events related to the history of the First Amendment.

Library Catalog

Search the Library Catalog (SpartaCat) to find books.

Law books, including the United States Code Annotated, and other titles discussing legal topics in the United States, are located in the call number range beginning with the letters "KF." Books covering legal topics in Pennsylvania are shelved in the area beginning with the letters "KFP."

In addition to books about the First Amendment located in the KF area, you'll also find materials about journalists and freedom of the press shelved in the section starting with the letters "PN."

Books about religion are located in the area starting with the letters "BL."