The Constitution is the Supreme law of the land and supersedes other laws, the First Amendment especially freedom of assembly is crucial in holding the government responsible for the actions on inactions. As a political science student, I am awakened by the freedom of assembly and would urge citizens to demonstrate their frustrations through peaceable assembly to express dissatisfaction with government policies. The freedom of assembly has made the government accountable and responsive to the citizen’s needs.
On several occasions, the courts have been called to interpret the First Amendment on freedom of assembly, and in the case of Cox V New Hampshire, a question rose on whether the New Hampshire protesters require a license before parades could be held. The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the freedom of assembly but subject to a license from the government stating the place, time, and manner of protest and the license cannot be denied unreasonably. The Constitution protects the right to assembly but is only restricted to the extent a license is not obtained. A license is important so as to safeguard the interest and rights of non-protesters for instance interference with traffic and other possible threats to public tranquillity.
In recent times, the cases of police brutality have been brought to light and resisted through various street protests. These protests have made the shootings a national problem and even attracted attention from the media. The media’s role in televising these events has made the police more accountable, thus the right of assembly has really proved to be worthy.
In a conclusion, the freedom of assembly has helped in highlighting various challenges in the country and although the right is not absolute the government should not interfere or deny peaceful and reasonable requests for assembly.
Winston, Andrew M. (2014). Right to Peaceful Assembly. The Law Library of Congress, Global Legal Research Center. Page 17-19
Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569, 575–76 (1941)