First Amendment protections for freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition are the essentials of freedom of expression. The Supreme Court has written that this freedom is "the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom." Without freedom of expression other rights, like the right to vote and to be free from racial discrimination, would be impossible to protect.
The ACLU of Montana makes protecting First Amendment rights a top priority in its public policy, public education and legal programs. You have a right to express yourself, to meet with whomever you choose and to criticize the government. We participate in Banned Books Week each year and oppose efforts to ban books at public libraries and in public schools.