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Your Weekly Constitutional
You are a part of the American Experiment.
Category: News & Politics
Location: Virginia, USA
Produced in partnership with James Madison's Montpelier, Your Weekly Constitutional is a public radio show featuring lively discussion of controversial constitutional topics, from Gay Rights to Gun Rights. Find us on Facebook and iTunes!
We are a radio show about interesting and controversial issues involving the United States Constitution, issues like Gay Rights...

by Your Weekly...
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November 24, 2015 07:57 AM PST

Religious freedom is guaranteed by our First Amendment. Why? Because theocracies do bad things. Very bad things.

Recently, hundreds of girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, which is trying to set up a fundamentalist Islamist theocracy in Nigeria. Precious few of these girls have escaped. This week, Stewart talks with one of them.

November 21, 2015 04:07 AM PST

Join Stewart as he talks to two of his colleagues from the University of Tennessee about two surprisingly constitutional areas of the law: copyright and antitrust.

First, Gary Pulsinelli tells us about the '60's band "The Turtles" and its long-running battle over control of its songs, a battle that may have consequences that go far beyond whether you agree that, gee, Eleanor is swell.

Then Brian Krumm tells us how both federal antitrust law and state regulatory law may figure prominently in the proposed merger of two healthcare giants in Northeast Tennessee, the Wellmont Health System and the Mountain States Health Alliance. Such mergers are being proposed all over the United States, so this is much more than just a local issue.

November 06, 2015 07:43 AM PST

Spies! Atomic secrets! Hollow nickels!

Hollow nickels?

Yep. Have you seen the new Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg movie? Did you know that it's based on a real constitutional case? Tune in and Jeff Kahn of Southern Methodist University will tell you all about it.

October 30, 2015 02:10 AM PDT

If you're a public radio listener, you've heard of BJ Leiderman. Hundreds of times. He's that fellow whose name is announced at the end of so many great shows, from Morning Edition to Science Friday: "and our theme music is by BJ Leiderman."

Did you ever wonder who this guy is? Or how he came up with so many wonderful songs? Stewart did. Then, one day, he received an email message . . . .

WARNING: This episode of Your Weekly Constitutional has nothing to do with the United States Constitution. But it has everything to do with public radio, music and fun. And while the Constitution doesn't expressly mention any of those things, well, perhaps it should.

October 23, 2015 07:16 AM PDT

President Jonathan Alger of James Madison University recently invited Stewart to give the first presentation in this year's Madison Vision Series at JMU. Stewart spent two days on JMU's campus, meeting faculty and students, giving his presentation and, most notably, recording some Constitutional Quizzes with President Alger. The first of those quizzes appears in this episode, which features a fascinating conversation with the man we affectionately call "The Quiz Prez."

September 30, 2015 02:15 PM PDT

Did you ever wish that someone would write a short, easy-to-read introduction to the United States Constitution?

Well, someone has. Her name is Linda Monk, and her book, just recently updated, is called, "The Words We Live By."

September 19, 2015 05:39 AM PDT

Every summer for the past seven years, Stewart has taught at the University of Tennessee's College of Law, where the faculty is always up to something interesting.

Today, we'll hear from Greg Stein, an expert on (of all things) Chinese property law, who will explain to us just how pivotal his subject is to China's economic rise and its (perhaps not so rosy) economic future.

Then we'll hear from Joan Heminway, who'll tell us all about something you may have heard of, or perhaps even participated in online -- something called crowdfunding.

Join us for Part I of our UT Mashup, 2015!

September 11, 2015 10:29 AM PDT


Is it possible to be both good and effective in politics? If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, you already know the answer to that one. To be a member of the prominent Stark family is to be both good and, most likely, dead.

But is that necessarily true in the real world? This is a question of vital importance in any political system, including our constitutional republic. That's why Stewart (who loves Game of Thrones, by the way) recently sat down with Justin Garrison, a political scientist from Roanoke College in Virginia. It's a fascinating conversation, so bring your wits, and your sword!

September 04, 2015 07:52 AM PDT

Laura Auricchio of the New School in New York City wants us to take a new look at the Marquis de Lafayette -- you know, that French guy who helped George Washington kick some serious British booty?

It seems that, while Lafayette's still quite a hero over here, he's not so well respected Over There.

We'll tell you why.

August 28, 2015 07:33 AM PDT

We just can't seem to get away from the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that various governments have enacted. What happens when one of those acts clashes with an antidiscrimination statute?

Strangely, the flashpoint issue seems to involve cake. Some conservative Christian bakers object to making wedding cakes for gay couples. Does religious freedom trump equality, or the other way around? Two constitutional values are at odds, although the legal issues, for now, are mostly statutory.

Join us for a lively discussion with David Wolitz of the University of Tennessee's College of Law, and Doug McKechnie, our First Amendment Guy.

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