Governmental Entities and Activities
The Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography in 1986 recommended ways
to halt the spread of pornography. Critics said some of the recommendations
violated the First Amendment.
The Court has ruled that some laws passed by Congress violate the First
Amendment. Some congressional investigations have raised questions about
the right of association.
Cold War-era congressional investigations led to the Court recognizing the
First Amendment right of an individual to refuse to answer questions about
Some lawmakers have proposed amendments that would change provisions in the
First Amendment, but to date, no such amendment has summoned enough support
When the First Amendment was ratified, it did not eliminate established
churches in states where they existed. Eventually, all established churches
FBI covert surveillance has created First Amendment controversy, as critics
have accused it of political repression against those who criticize the
The FCC regulates scarce communications frequencies “in the public
interest.” Its power to regulate indecent programming has engendered First
By controlling an overcrowded radio spectrum, the Federal Radio Commission,
established in 1927, preserved First Amendment freedoms for listeners and
The Federal Theatre Project strived to embody the First Amendment through
their uncensored works. However, some of their productions were censored
and investigated by Congress.
The Federal Trade Commission regulates monopolies and stops unfair and
deceptive business practices. Its regulation implicates First Amendment
Federalism distributes power between national and state governments. The
relation between federalism and the First Amendment has important
dimensions involving political theory.
The Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority has been at the
center of several cases revolving around the First Amendment protection of
The House Un-American Activities Committee took a prominent role in
investigating communist activity. Its critics contend that it trampled
First Amendment rights.
President Lyndon Johnson’s task force on communication policy was a
response to potential First Amendment problems with the new technologies of
The First Amendment’s free speech guarantees have sometimes been used to
challenge Securities and Exchange Commission regulations of communications
The term star chamber refers pejoratively to any secret meeting held by a
judicial body. The First Amendment supports the right of the public to
attend criminal trials.