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First Amendment Rights Attorney Chicago

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First Amendment Rights Attorney Chicago

When we think of the rights protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, most of us think of “free speech.” While that is a key portion of the law, there are other important rights protected by the First Amendment, too, like the freedom to associate. Also called freedom of association, it is a fundamental right of individuals to join or form groups, associations, or organizations based on their shared beliefs, interests, or activities. This right is a key component of the concept of freedom of expression.

At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., we take all of your civil rights and liberties seriously. If authorities, your employer, or another entity is violating your freedom to associate, speak with our First Amendment rights attorney about your rights and legal options. We handle a wide range of civil rights violations, so please contact us today for more information.

What is Freedom to Associate?

The freedom to associate is a person’s right to join or form political parties, labor unions, religious groups, social clubs, and other organizations. It also includes the freedom to leave associations or organizations at any time and for any reason.

The freedom to associate is critical for a functioning democratic society. It allows individuals to pursue common goals, engage in political activities, and advocate for change. Without this right, individuals would be severely limited in expressing their views or participating in the political process. 

Like most rights, the freedom to associate is not absolute, and reasonable restrictions may be imposed on this right, but only if those restrictions serve a compelling government interest and are narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. For example, certain types of associations that the government may lawfully regulate include those that: 

  • Engage in criminal activity or terrorism
  • Are a threat to public safety and national security

The freedom to associate may also be limited to some degree in the context of employment. Employers may impose reasonable restrictions on their employees’ association activities if those activities could harm the employer’s business interests or create a conflict of interest. However, if the restrictions are not reasonable, a First Amendment rights attorney can help defend your rights.

The Law Regarding Freedom to Associate

The Supreme Court has ruled on several landmark cases involving the freedom to associate. In NAACP v. Alabama (1958), the Court recognized that the freedom to associate is essential to the exercise of other First Amendment rights, such as freedom of speech and the press. In Roberts v. United States Jaycees (1984), the Court held that the government may regulate discriminatory membership policies of private organizations if those policies are not related to the organization’s expressive activities.

Reach Out to a Civil Rights Violations Attorney for Help

Do you believe that authorities or the government infringed on your rights to associate? You should never take civil rights violations lightly, as fighting back can help prevent future violations, as well as provide legal relief for you. 

If you believe your rights to free expression or free association have been violated, contact a skilled First Amendment rights attorney at the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. today. 


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