First Amendment Goes Too Far, Say One In Three US Residents

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One in three Americans say the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, according to a just-released survey from the First Amendment Center.

In this year's poll, 34 percent of those surveyed said they thought the First Amendment goes too far, more than double the number from 2012.

The last time such a large number of U.S. residents felt this way was in the years following the 9/11 attacks. In 2002, 49 percent of Americans felt the First Amendment provided too much liberty. In 2003, the number fell to 34 percent. The percentage of Americans who felt this way continued to fall to 13 percent in 2012.

Ken Paulson, the president of the First Amendment Center, said that the results of the survey were troubling.

"It's unsettling to see a third of Americans view the First Amendment as providing too much liberty," said Paulson, who also is the dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. "This underscores the need for more First Amendment education. If we truly understand the essential role of these freedoms in a democracy, we're more likely to protect them." 

Here’s an infographic with more insights from the survey:

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