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Right to petition

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The right to petition the government is the freedom of an individual (and sometimes a groups or corporate entity) to petition their government for a correction or repair of some form of injustice without fear of punishment for doing so. Although often overlooked in favor of other more famous freedoms and sometimes taken for granted, many other civil liberties are enforceable against the government only by exercising this basic right, making it a fundamental right in many countries.

While the prohibition of abridgment of the right to petition originally referred only to the federal goverment (the Congress) and the federal courts, the incorporation doctrine later expanded the protection of the right to its current scope, over all state and federal courts and legislatures and the executive branches of the state and federal governments.

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