Teacher Guides

Teacher Guide: Does the First Amendment Allow the Government to Censor Art? 

Roberto Rossellini's 1948 film "Il Miracolo."
A poster for Roberto Rossellini’s 1948 film “Il Miracolo.” The film became the subject of a Supreme Court case in 1952 when New York State’s Board of Regents censored the film because they deemed it “sacrilegious.” Wikimedia Commons.

For much of our nation’s history, the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech did not clearly protect art from government censorship. Over the course of the 20th century, however, courts gradually extended speech protections to a broader range of artistic expression, including film, dance, theater, and fine arts. Today, public officials can censor art only in limited circumstances. What are those circumstances, and what protection does the First Amendment provide?

To view this and other teacher guides, please fill out this form.

All resources on www.FirstAmendmentWatch.org are free and permitted to disseminate to your students with these conditions:

  1. Be sure to include any pertinent credits to news organizations, book authors, etc. who are identified as the source of the specific content you select.
  2. Include: Reprinted with permission from www.FirstAmendmentWatch.org

Resources available at www.FirstAmendmentWatch.org include:

  • News & Updates
  • History & Legal Cases
  • Analysis & Opinion

View Teacher Guides


Tags