Freedom of Assembly – Cox v. New Hampshire

Lesson Duration

Author:  Office of the U.S. Courts – Educational Resources

The First Amendment protects freedom of assembly. Protests, parades, and other large gatherings are important means for individuals to express their ideas and their unity behind these ideas. While the Constitution protects the right to assemble, it adds an important caveat-the assembly must be peaceful. Historically, many assemblies quickly turned into riots, and, thus, were dispersed by the authorities. For this reason, the Supreme Court has ruled that reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions might be imposed on the right to assemble.  Includes materials to lead discussion or debate surrounding the Landmark Case of Cox v. New Hampshire.


  • Students will understand the First Amendment protection of Free Assembly.
  • Students will understand the Landmark Case of Cox v. New Hampshire.



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