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Freedoms Of Speech, Press, Assembly, And Association

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Chapter Summary

The constitutional guarantee of free speech "'serves significant societal interests' wholly apart from the speaker's interest in self-expression". The right "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is specifically protected by the First Amendment. But, the freedom of expressive association is not absolute; it can be overridden by &t;regulations adopted to serve compelling state interests, unrelated to the suppression of ideas, that cannot be achieved through means significantly less restrictive of associational freedoms. The freedom of association protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments includes partisan political organization. Thus, the Constitution guarantees "the right of citizens to associate and to form political parties for the advancement of common political goals and ideas". Subjecting a non-confidential, non-policy-making public employee to penalty for exercising rights of political association is tantamount to an unconstitutional condition.

Keywords: constitutional guarantee; freedom of political association; freedom of press; freedom of speech; self-expression



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