What is the historical origin of the First Amendment?
Minneapolis litigator David Olsen of Henson & Efron explains the historical origin of the First Amendment.
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That actually goes back to before this country was even founded. It has historical roots in the common law in England and way back through history. But in our country, it had to do primarily with the fear that the government would impose prior restraints on publications and what people could say and tell people, and certain subjects were off limits, or you can’t criticize people in power. And, again, you can’t have a democracy with those kind of prior restraints. So the First Amendment came about, and the really modern jurisprudence in what we consider to be the free speech rights were developed by the Supreme Court post-World War II through a series of cases.