Do You Have a “Right” to Protest?

The 1st Amendment is pretty cut and dried.  Its in plain English, easily understandable, and doesn’t use too many multi-syllabic words.  Most of us learned it in grade school:

“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.”

Allow me to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment.  Do you see the word “protest” in the above paragraph?  How about “demonstrate”?  Neither do I.  Are we potentially being assumptive when we presume that “protest” is covered under “peaceable assembly”? A case can be made that we are.

Should you and ten of your friends gather in a public park to hand out leaflets, you aren’t required to get permission from the government in the form



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