Which of the first ten Amendments is the most important?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In my mind the right to free speech is one of if not the most important one we have.  The idea that we can speak out against a government or even against a particular elected individual and not be afraid of reprisals is so important.

I find it to be somewhat troubling that this right is more limited than we think it is, most people cannot speak out against their employers (even though there are some very minor whistle-blowing protections) because anything of that nature is grounds for dismissal, job-speech is not protected by the first amendment.

Students don't have the right to free speech, in the end the principal can decide what can and can't be published in a school newspaper and it can often be very difficult for them to make their voice heard.

So protecting for and even enhancing this right seems absolutely vital to me.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The First Amendment is, in my opinion, the most important (which is probably why it was put first).  I have heard the right to freedom of speech called "the guardian of every other right" and this is why I think that the First Amendment is the most important.

If we had all sorts of other rights, but no freedom of speech and press, our other rights would be worthless.  If someone infringed on your rights, what could you do?  You couldn't speak out against the infringement.  You couldn't write an editorial criticizing the government for taking away that right.

But with the freedom of speech, we have the right to kick up a fuss when our other rights are violated.  This is why I think the First Amendment is most important.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team