Groups and Organizations Archives
Before the Civil War, pro-slavery legislators attempted to squelch
anti-slavery speech and writing through gag rules and other anti-First
The Adult Film Association of America was founded as the first trade
association of pornographic film producers, working to defend the First
Amendment rights of the industry.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is a conservative Christian organization
dedicated to issues connected to First Amendment religious freedom and
The American Association of University Professors represents the interests
of academics and provides assistance to protect the First Amendment
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression promotes the free
exchange of ideas by defending the First Amendment rights of booksellers
The American Center for Law and Justice, the legal advocacy arm of
religious conservatives, litigates issues of First Amendment religious
freedom and “family values.”
The American Civil Liberties Union states as its mission the protection and
preservation of First Amendment rights, equal protection under the law, and
the right of privacy.
The American Friends Service Committee, founded in 1917, has been active in
defending civil rights and civil liberties, and is a vocal proponent of
First Amendment protections, especially the right of association and
freedom of speech.
The American Library Association supports the First Amendment rights of
freedom of speech and press as they pertain to libraries, librarians, and
The American Nazi Party is one of several hundred white supremacist groups
in the United States whose words and actions have tested the limits of the
The American Society of News Editors concerns itself with issues of
importance to newspaper editors and journalism in general, including First
Americans United for Separation of Church and State is committed to
separation of government and religious institutions. AU has been involved
in several First Amendment cases.
The opposition of the Anti-Federalists to the 1787 U.S. Constitution
without a bill of rights was an important factor leading to the adoption of
the First Amendment.
The Christian Legal Society maintains the Center for Law and Religious
Freedom in Washington D.C., which has filed numerous briefs in First
Citizens for Decent Literature worked to stop the sale of obscenity and
filed briefs in anti-pornography cases. Non-obscene pornography is
protected by the First Amendment.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund defends comic book and graphic novel
writers who sometimes are prosecuted under obscenity regulations. Courts
have often struck down such laws as overly broad and in violation of the
First Amendment, but some defendants accept plea deals to avoid lengthy
The Commission on Obscenity and Pornography told Congress to focus on
restricting juvenile access to pornography, instead of focusing on
The Committee on Public Information was the first large-scale propaganda
agency of the U.S. government and was viewed by some as stifling First
The development of First Amendment free speech and association rights in
the United States owes much to the battle against the Communism Party of
The Eagle Forum is a conservative women’s group founded in 1972 by Phyllis
Schlafly. The organization has aligned with both conservative and liberal
views on the First Amendment.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in 1990 as a civil liberties
group advocating for First Amendment rights in digital and other new
The Electronic Privacy Information Center advocates for First Amendment
freedoms of speech and privacy, particularly in new media such as the
Internet and surveillance.
Federalists supported the ratification of the Constitution and compromised
by adding a Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, to the
The First Amendment Center seeks to protect First Amendment freedoms
through information and education. It provides a forum for dialogue on
First Amendment issues.
The First Amendment Lawyers Association has primarily defended clients in
the adult-entertainment industry in First Amendment cases before the
The First Amendment Project is a nonprofit law firm that advocates on
behalf of free expression values. The organization litigates on a variety
of First Amendment issues.
First Liberty Institute provides free legal services and support to those
dealing with religious liberty issues. It has expanded into religious
liberty litigation in all 50 states.
Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression began as an organization to
protect free speech rights of college students. It has campaigned against
speech codes and free-speech zones.
The Free Expression Network is an alliance of groups seeking to protect the
First Amendment right of free expression and to oppose suppression of
The Free Speech League was the first organization in U.S. history to commit
itself to First Amendment free expression, no matter the subject or
Although some Supreme Court decisions have allowed prosecution of the Ku
Klux Klan for terrorist activity, others have affirmed the First Amendment
rights of Klan members.
The Media Institute is a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that
specializes in publications on First Amendment issues in the communications
The Media Law Resource Center is a nonprofit that was formed “to monitor
developments and promote First Amendment rights in the libel, privacy and
related legal fields.”
The National Coalition Against Censorship serves as a hub for groups and
individuals combating censorship. It focuses on three activities: action,
advocacy, and education.
The National Press Club, founded in 1908 and open to all who supply news,
has sought to keep First Amendment issues front and center in the public
The PEN American Center annually awards those who fight for First Amendment
values and opposes the Patriot Act, even delivering a “press freedom
petition” to Congress.
People for the American Way is a progressive advocacy group that has become
involved in First Amendment cases advocating for religious liberty and
separation of church and state.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has played an important
role in many controversies over First Amendment press freedom and freedom
The Rutherford Institute is concerned with First Amendment freedom and
provides legal help to those who believe their constitutional rights have
The Student Press Law Center is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to
defending the First Amendment rights of high school and college journalists.
The civil activism of Students for a Democratic Society, a radical youth
group, frequently led to the exercise of First Amendment freedoms in
conflict with government officials.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression is a
nonprofit organization that is devoted to defending the principles of free
Members of white supremacists and white national groups have tested the
limits of the First Amendment through hate speech and threatening