and state, libel, invasion of privacy, confidential news sources, prior restraints, gag orders, freedom of information, copyright, right of assembly, and the right to petition the government.
Several organizations are devoted to protecting rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Founded in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to defending and preserving individual rights and liberties – to defending everybody. Montana’s Civil Liberties Union is affiliated with the national organization.
Founded in 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit founded in 1971, supports civil rights and combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation.
Some organizations exist to protect a specific right; for example, the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press is dedicated to providing free legal assistance to journalists in support of a First Amendment right.
The founding fathers of our republic specified in writing the rights and freedoms contained in each of the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. They did so at a time that, according to Benjamin Franklin, “about one citizen in five hundred, who, by education or practice in scribbling, has acquired a tolerable style as to grammar and construction, so as to bear printing.”
They not only printed these rights and freedoms, they incorporated them into the supreme law of the land – the Constitution, a document, in its own words, intended to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
We inherited these rights and freedoms, all of them. Will we continue to secure them for future generations?
I hope so! But that requires the support of voters in election after