What is it?
Free speech is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It prohibits government actors from:
- Establishing a religion
- Interfering with the exercise of religion
- Abridging freedom of speech or the press; or
- Interfering with the right of people to assemble.
What is the consequence?
When a state actor unlawfully interferes with your First Amendment rights to Free Speech, you may seek:
- An injunction (a court order designed to stop the civil rights violation)
- Money for the injuries caused by the state actor
- Punitive damages (relief designed to punish the state actor for the abuses)
- Compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering
- Attorney fees (state actors pay when you prevail)