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1015 The First Amendment’s Firstness Akhil Reed Amar* I First: First? Less cryptically, the first and main question that I shall explore in today’s McClatchy Lecture on the First Amendment is whether that amendment is genuinely first — first in fact, first in law, and first in the hearts of Americans. In the process of exploring this question, I also hope to shed some light on the meaning of this amendment in particular and the nature of constitutional interpretation in general. II Let’s begin with the Constitution’s text. A simple question: Do the actual words “the First Amendment” or “Amendment I” themselves appear in what we all unselfconsciously refer to as “the First Amendment?” * Copyright © 2014 Akhil Reed Amar. Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University. This Essay derives from the McClatchy Lecture on the First Amendment, delivered on October 16, 2013, at the University of California at Davis Law School. Special thanks to Vikram Amar, Kevin Johnson, and S...