Evans: Needless confusion about First Amendment

Forty-five words that were first written with a quill pen 230 years ago form what may be the most consequential sentence in United States history. But that sentence also is one of the most misunderstood – as recent comments from some of our leaders illustrate. The sentence I refer to is the First Amendment. It is the Constitution’s guarantee of fundamental rights of the American people to live their lives without government butting in. For reference, here is what the amendment says in full: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Podcast: Behind-The-Scenes Look at IowaWatch’s Most-Read 2016 Stories

The most-read stories IowaWatch from 2016 included a look at free speech rights on college campuses, legislation covering medication to treat drug overdoses and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The IowaWatch Connection radio program brings you up to date on those stories and reveals behind-the-scenes information on how they came about.